Assisted living facilities are designed for individuals who are fairly independent and can get through most of the day by themselves. They receive general help with activities like bathing, dressing, and preparing food, and make autonomous decisions about their day. Nursing homes, on the other hand, are designed for people who need 24 hour care and are not mentally or physically well.

Comparison chart

Assisted Living versus Nursing Home comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartAssisted LivingNursing Home
Number of facilities in US 38,000 15,600
Medical care Minor supervision Extensive care
Covered by Medicare No Yes
Cost for private room $2400 - $4950 $4410 - $11710
Privacy Often private apartments Usually shared rooms
Social activities offered Yes Yes
Independence More independence Less independence
Group activities at a nursing home
Group activities at a nursing home


The average monthly cost varies depending on the state. The cost for a private room in an assisted living facility ranges from $2,400 to $4,950 per month, while the cost of a private room in a nursing home ranges from $4,410 to $11,710 per month. Shared rooms in nursing homes are cheaper. Neither Medicare Parts A or B cover ongoing long-term care in assisted living facilities, but some states may cover them under their own Medicaid programs. 98.5% of nursing homes are covered by Medicare or Medicaid.


Some assisted living facilities offer meals and light housekeeping. They offer minor medical supervision, personal care assistance, 24 hour supervision, social activities, security and emergency call systems, and transportation.

Nursing homes offer extensive medical care, as well as personal care assistance, 24 hour supervision, meals, and security and emergency call systems.


Nursing homes are designed for those who cannot care for themselves and who have serious physical or mental health issues. Eligibility for government funding for assisted living facilities varies from state to state.

Medical Staff

Assisted living facilities are designed for those who need little to no medical care. Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses are on call, but may not always be present.

Nursing homes have licensed practical nurses on duty 24 hours a day, and a registered nurse on duty at least 8 hours every day. For every 100 beds, there are usually 40 nursing assistants, 7 registered nurses, and 13 licensed practical nurses.


The average assisted living facility has 54 units, but they can range from small houses for single residents to large facilities with hundreds of apartments.

The average nursing home has 108.42 beds. They are typically seen as “hospital-like,” although this has been changing in recent years.

Social Life

Larger assisted living facilities often have many activities and amenities for residents. Some have swimming pools, gyms, classrooms, and movie theaters, as well as offering arranged outings.

Nursing homes also offer social activities.


Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us:

"Assisted Living vs Nursing Home." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 23 Nov 2020. < >