I had a call today asking about the difference between assisted living and nursing homes. Nursing homes are for short term rehabilitation, for example after an accident, hip fracture or heart surgery. A person goes for 20 days or so and returns home. However in some cases older adults cannot care for themselves and will remain in a nursing home the rest of their lives. If private savings aren’t available then the person will apply for government aid – Medicaid. Assisted living is for persons who are physically able to care for themselves — but with a little assistance. As long as the person can bear weight and transfer with the help of one person, assisted living is suitable. When care needs move to the stage of requiring 2 persons then nursing home care is often the next step. For persons with advanced memory loss, a memory care community may be the next step.