Senior apartments (also called senior independent living communities) are designed for active seniors who have few medical problems; this type of living includes the least assistance out of all senior care options. Nursing homes are designed for seniors who require constant medical assistance and care. These may be people with severe medical conditions who require extensive care or people who are recovering from surgeries and illnesses. Nursing homes cost around $4,000 to $8,000 per month, while senior apartments cost around $1,500 to $3,500 per month.
In senior apartments, seniors live in fully equipped private apartments; size ranges from studios to large two-bedroom apartments. In nursing homes, residents often share rooms with other patients.
Residents in senior apartments can choose how many prepared meals per day they would like to have, and custom-designed meal packages are available. Nursing homes serve all meals every day. Both senior living options offer different kinds of entertainment and activities for residents.
Nursing homes provide 24-hour skilled nursing services. Senior apartments usually don't have on-site nurses. Senior apartments don't offer medication management, personal care, mobility assistance or incontinence care, while nursing homes typically offer those services. Senior apartments may or may not offer housekeeping, laundry and transportation services, but nursing homes usually do.