What is the Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Home care in California?

What is the Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Home care in California?

Assisted Living homes and communities and nursing homes, also known as a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) or Rehabilitation Facility, are vastly different care options for older adults.  However, these terms are often used interchangeably; this confusion can lead to our seniors not receiving the proper care and attention they need.  Here are the differences:

Assisted Living Homes and Communities

  • Can aid residents with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing and medication management
  • Can range in size from a licensed 6-bed residential home to a larger community (greater than 6 beds)
  • Can not provide clinical services; needed clinical services can be brought in (mobile physicians and nurses, Home Health or Hospice)
  • May have an on-site SNF for those needing skilled nursing care
  • Often have on-site Physical and Occupational Therapists who work one-on-one with residents
  • May offer specialized Memory Care for seniors with a dementia diagnosis
  • Typically offer studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom options – kitchenettes are available at most communities; rooms can be shared or private
  • Are governed by State of California Title 22 under the Department of Health and Human Services; care and violation history is compiled on each licensed home and community
  • Are considerably less expensive than a privately paid long-term stay at a Nursing Home/SNF

Nursing Home/Skilled Nursing Facility

  • Provides skilled nursing, or medical, care for high acuity patients and residents
  • Provides a short-term rehabilitation option for those discharged from a hospital needing rehabilitative services such as Physical Therapy, Occupational and Speech Therapy
  • Can be a steppingstone between hospital and home or Assisted Living; can be bypassed if a physician feels the patient can receive the same level of rehabilitation in a less restrictive environment (e.g., home or Assisted Living)
  • Are usually paid for by private insurance and/or Medicare/Medicaid when accompanied by a qualifying hospital stay; the stay must be ordered by a physician
  • Usually have two or three patients per room, divided by curtains
  • Federally regulated; privately-owned most of the time
  • Are more expensive compared to Assisted Living homes and communities as a long-term living solution and not always an option for a long-term living solution

When looking at Assisted Living homes or communities alongside Nursing Homes/SNFs, be sure to consider your loved one’s total care needs – physical, social, emotional, and spiritual.  Work closely with a professional to find exactly what you need and want.

Time to Move Care Placement, Inc.  858-242-4715

Cert. Placement and Referral Specialist (PRA)

Certified Senior Advisor (csa.us)