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Differences Between Assisted Living and Nursing Home Care

Find The Best Fit For You Or Your Loved One

Lobby at Highpoint at Cape Coral includes piano, multiple seating areas and large windows.

There are many different types of senior care out there and no “one size fits all” answer for your aging loved one. The key is learning about each type of care and what it has to offer – then determining what best fits the unique needs of your loved one and your family.

Highpoint at Cape Coral serves as a resource for families in Lee County and beyond as they navigate the unknowns of senior care. Our offerings of Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care encompass much of the senior care continuum – but we’ve also addressed some other options for your family to consider. If you’re considering assisted living communities and/or nursing home options, we’ll take a closer look at each below.


Assisted living is used to describe a type of residential community for seniors providing living quarters, support services and health care designed to help individuals who need support with their day-to-day routines. These services customarily include a combination of meals, laundry, housekeeping, medication management and assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting and mobility as needed. Residents in assisted living communities generally have their own apartment on campus with access to community spaces for dining and activities.

What are the ADVANTAGES?

    • Residents receive individualized support for ADLs while having a variety of options for dining and enrichment.
    • Seniors in assisted living communities generally have private apartments and flexibility in how to spend their time, helping them maintain greater independence.


    • Assisted living communities vary in their quality of care, services provided and associated costs so families should take into consideration what is included.
    • Some seniors may be opposed to leaving their home and view assisted living as taking away their independence.


Nursing homes provide residential care for seniors who require 24-hour medical supervision and/or need assistance for most or all of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Residents of nursing homes typically have high care needs and complex medical conditions, requiring care by a registered nurse, therapist or other medical staff 24 hours a day. Activities for enhanced quality of life are usually included, along with meals for various dietary needs.

What are the ADVANTAGES?

    • Life-enriching activities are usually provided, giving residents daily socialization and amenities.
    • Skilled nursing services and/or 24-hour medical assistance given for residents who have high care needs due to physical or mental conditions.


    • The quality of skilled nursing care can vary widely so it’s important to research communities and check their state ratings.
    • Residents typically share a room and have less privacy than in other types of care because of the high level of medical attention.

Overall, the main difference between nursing home care and assisted living is that nursing homes provide medical and personal care in a more clinical setting, while assisted living primarily provides personal care in a home-like setting with social, physical, emotional and spiritual benefits.

CARE OPTIONS At Senior Living Communities

Finding the right option that meets your loved one’s needs is an important part of keeping them healthy, engaged and fulfilled. At Highpoint at Cape Coral, our three levels of living provide options that are tailored to the needs of our residents – whether in Independent Living, Assisted Living or Memory Care.

Ready to learn more?
Let’s start the conversation. We’d love to share more about our community with you and answer any questions you might have.