Differences Between Assisted Living & Nursing Homes

by April 3, 2020

It’s a stressful decision to put your elderly loved ones in someone else’s care, but finding the right form of care for them doesn’t have to be difficult. There are numerous home care services, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes to choose from, each one catered to you and your elder’s specific needs.

At Tysons Woods, we have provided quality elder assisted living services to elders and their families throughout  Fairfax, VA and Northern Virginia. Our kind and professional staff will ensure a smooth transition that’s comforting and affordable. If you are unsure whether you should send your loved to to a nursing home or an assisted living center, here are some of the differences between the two:


An elder assisted living facility, like Tysons Woods, is a place where your loved one may receive daily living assistance, but does not require constant care. While staff is always there to help, residents in assisted living are capable of handling daily activities on their own. 

In a nursing home, residents require constant care. Whether their needs are due to older age, disabilities, or other significant impairments, a nursing home’s staff provides constant support for your loved ones in their day-to-day lives.


An assisted living facility has registered nurses and licensed practical nurses on call, so they may not be available 24/7. The staff at Tysons Woods specialize in areas such as, but not limited to:  

  • Bathing assistance
  • Custom routines
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry assistance
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Nursing
  • Gourmet meal cooking and feeding assistance
  • Dementia caregiving

If you are looking for any of these services, then an assisted living center may be the best choice for you. 

Nursing homes typically have around-the-clock care and have licensed practical nurses on duty 24/7. If your loved one is experiencing serious complications doing day-to-day activities, a nursing home may be the best option. However, on average, for every 100 resident beds in a nursing home, there are 40 nursing assistants, 7 registered nurses, and 13 licensed practical nurses. This means that if your loved one may not receive the consistent attention they need, then it may result in more complications down the line. 

Costs and Payment Options

The cost for an assisted living facility is significantly cheaper per month than a nursing home. However, many assisted living facilities require the family to pay out of pocket. In some cases, financial assistance may be available in the form of VA Pensions

While nursing homes can be pricey out of pocket, they are mostly paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, or both. Unless your loved one is in need of around-the-clock care, consider keeping your loved one in an assisted living facility, as it will provide them with more independence and comfort than a nursing home. 

Size, Capacity, and Living Space

The average number of residents in an assisted living facility is around 50, but some facilities can hold up to 300 residents. Assisted living facilities also typically have private or shared apartments with private baths and kitchenettes. The common area is often large and there are more outdoor grounds for residents to spend time in and enjoy. 

The average number of nursing home residents is much larger, with about 100 beds. In the past, many nursing homes have been criticized for having a more “hospital-like” feel to them. However, nursing homes around the country are attempting to break that trend by creating facilities that are more appealing and comfortable. While the residents still have access to private or shared rooms, many common areas are limited and there are often no outdoor areas. 

Tysons Woods: Elder Assisted Living in Fairfax, VA

Deciding whether to send your loved one to an assisted living facility or a nursing home is often a tough decision.  However, we at Tyson’s Woods  are a team of dedicated professionals that are passionate and highly-experienced in providing comfort and leisure to our residents. 

If you are considering placing your loved one into a dependable elder assisted-living facility within the Fairfax, VA area, look no further. We have the passion and experience to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

Contact us at (703) 846-0395 to learn more about our elder care services today!