Choosing where you’ll spend your retirement years is a personal decision that depends on several factors. Maybe you find that your current home is too big to upkeep on your own. Or perhaps you’d rather live in an area that’s closer to your grandchildren, so you can watch them grow up.

Whatever the reason for moving, a senior living community may sound somewhat intriguing. After all, you’ll be surrounded by friends and neighbors in your age group, who enjoy similar hobbies, and will have access to nearby amenities to fill your day!

Choosing Your Retirement Lifestyle

Across the country, Primrose Retirement Communities offer independent living apartment homes and villas, assisted living apartments, and memory care suites. And each senior living community offers fantastic amenities that allow residents to:

  • Stay active
  • Socialize
  • Learn new skills
  • Practice their favorite hobbies
  • Relax—whenever they want!

It’s no secret we’ve been providing retirement homes to seniors for decades. And in that time, we’ve heard the terms “nursing homes” and “retirement homes” get used interchangeably. 

It’s important to understand the differences between these two senior housing options, as you decide which type of residency will benefit you now and in the future.

What’s the difference between a retirement home vs. nursing home?

Simply put, a retirement home is a private senior living community designed for older adults who are generally able to care for themselves or require minimal to moderate assistance

A nursing home, on the other hand, is designed to provide 24/7 nursing care to seniors, who may require extensive and complicated medical attention or care support. 

Nursing homes may also provide respiratory care and physical rehabilitation programs for individuals recovering from a surgery or injury. Occupational therapy and speech therapy may be available, as well. For this reason, nursing homes can be utilized as a short-term living solution, depending on each individual’s circumstance. 

These differences may sound straight forward, but not all retirement communities are the same. Or more specifically, certain communities offer continuing care programs.

“Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), also called life care communities, offer different levels of service in one location. Many of them offer independent housing (houses or apartments), assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing options all on one campus. Healthcare services and recreation programs are also provided.”

National Institute on Aging

While Primrose Retirement Communities do not offer Skilled Nursing options, Primrose locations do offer varying lifestyle options designed to support seniors, as their health and mobility needs change. Skilled Nursing Homes can offer assistance for complicated and intense medical needs like the management of a feeding tube, trachea care, or a mechanical lift. Meanwhile, retirement communities like Primrose can offer varying lifestyle options designed to support seniors, as their health and mobility needs change. This can include 24/7 nursing support for more common needs like medication management, showers, and dressing assistance. 

Rather than leaving your community—one where you have already developed strong connections with your neighbors and called home for years—you can remain where you are but receive minimal to moderate assistance with cares on the same campus. Furthermore, the residents of retirement communities can even bring in third party support like home healthcare, physical therapy or palliative/hospice services into the community to supplement their needs. 

The differences in the level of nursing support may be where the majority of the confusion for these terms come from, as assisted living programs are often mistaken for nursing homes.

Assisted Living Homes vs. Nursing Homes

Assisted living programs like the ones at Primrose allow residents to live in private assisted living apartments that feel home-like yet put them in close proximity to nursing staff, should they require assistance.

Residents still have access to all the amenities they enjoy, but they now have the additional support of 24/7 nursing care. From transportation and housekeeping to medical management, we strive to provide the type of services our residents need while still providing them with the independence and dignity they deserve. 

In addition to assisted living facilities, a select number of Primrose locations also include memory care programs. These services are designed for seniors who are living with Alzheimer’s Disease or other types of dementia. Additionally, these services provide critical rest and peace of mind to those families previously struggling to provide 24/7 care for their loved ones affected by dementia.  

How does assisted living differ from a nursing home?

As noted earlier, assisted living works to provide nursing care in a home-like setting. Nursing homes provide medical care to seniors in a more clinical setting. Additionally, nursing home residents may be living with a chronic condition or illness that requires more medical care and treatment that they may not receive at an assisted living facility. 

The final difference between assisted living and nursing homes is in their atmospheres. Due to the complex, clinical nature of nursing homes, their environments are often filled with blinking call lights, noisy medical equipment, and busy hallways. While this is critical for the safety of the more complicated care needs found in nursing homes, it is not exactly a calm and relaxing environment to live in.

For assisted living on the other hand, the environment is designed to create a more homelike atmosphere. Assisted living communities offer private apartments and are often calmer—filled with the sounds of friendship, music, and laughter.

Find Out More about Living at Primrose

Moving into a retirement community is a big decision and major life event. The good news is you never need to go at it alone! At Primrose, our team is here to help answer your questions and provide you with the information and resources you need to make informed decisions about your future! 

To learn more about our retirement communities, you can contact our team today to schedule an in-person tour. 

You can also explore a community near you to find virtual tours and photo galleries to help get a glimpse of what life is like at Primrose. 

We look forward to welcoming you to our community and helping you make the most out of your retirement journey!