Retirement Home Vs Nursing Home: What Are The Differences?

Retirement Home Vs Nursing Home

As a retired adult, choosing a suitable retirement home can be challenging since you have to go for the most suitable home that offers the best value for your money. However, individuals have varied needs and care, influencing their choices. Retirement Home Vs Nursing Home

Retirement homes and nursing homes are the two most reliable options for retirement communities. But, people don’t seem to know the differences between those two communities and the services they offer.

It is advisable that before opting for any of the options, you must first understand what they offer, including their advantages and disadvantages. You can go ahead to read more about retirement homes here.

Now, Seasons Retirement has come up with this piece to share detailed information on the services a retirement home vs nursing home offer, so you will be able to make the best choice for yourself or your loved one.

Retirement Home: Definition

A retirement home is a private residence built and specifically designed to take care of the needs of retirees and older adults. 

This alternative living arrangement makes provision for older persons to live an independent and normal life while offering full care and support to their needs.

Retirement houses provide opportunities for fun activities, socialization, and recreation. Also, they make provisions for healthcare and periodic medical checkups. 

They are most suitable for older adults who desire to enjoy care at all times and still maintain their regular lifestyle.

Retirement Homes: Types

Retirement homes, also known as assisted living homes, vary based on the services they offer.

Some retirement homes provide services that help increase the budget of the resident. Others help to maintain the lifestyle of the retirees, while some look after their preferences.

Below are the types of retirement homes:

1.   Retirement communities

Retirement communities are homes with extensive and well-planned arrangements that focus on older adults who are financially buoyant enough and prefer to reside in private townhomes, condominiums, or other similar independent structures.

Also, they allow older adults to maintain a certain lifestyle and enjoy their independence while having an active and enjoyable social life with individuals within the same age group. These types of communities mostly take care of the needs of older adults between 55 to 65 years of age.

In addition, they put in place a variety of fun activities and can also provide for all the daily services of the residents. However, take note that retirement communities are pretty expensive.

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2.   Subsidized Senior Housing

Most retired adults live on fixed incomes (pensions), which may not cover all housing expenses. Similarly, low-income people can experience difficulties finding an affordable home that will take care of their needs, no matter the situation.

Interestingly, the Canadian Government has programs put in place to offer independent living homes for older persons at subsidized rates. 

Luckily, these homes still cater to all the needs of residents, including transportation and cleaning.

3.   Congregate Care

Congregate care communities have multiple homes for older adults with full access to dining, lobby, and recreational areas. Heritage Care Bayswater North Also, they cater to older adults who are still agile but may require a helping hand with daily activities.

4.   Continuing Care Retirement Communities

These retirement homes make provisions for older persons’ present and future needs. In addition, they allow them to plan for any potential health condition that may occur in the future.

Plus, residents can move from an assisted living lifestyle to a nursing home within the same community. This relocation makes the transition process easier for them since they are still within the same community. 

Unfortunately, these communities do not make provisions for older adults who require assistance from government programs.

Retirement Home: Cost of Living 

In comparison between retirement home vs nursing home, the cost of living in a retirement home largely depends on the amenities, while that of a nursing home depends a lot on the care that will be offered. 

For retirement homes, living in a private room will be more expensive than a multi-apartment unit.

Also, the more the number of services offered and amenities provided, the more the cost of living. Therefore, these should be included in your cost evaluation.

On average, the cost of living in a retirement home is between $1,453 to $4,500 per month. In addition, some retirement houses require new residents to pay an entrance fee to move into their homes. This fee is used to pay for some of the amenities put in place by the house.

All you have to do is go for the one that fits your budget and meets your needs.

Retirement Homes: Payment Procedure

If you have a good understanding of your finances and can plan well, you should be able to afford the costs of a retirement home without having to break the bank. Here are some of the funds you could set aside for the payment of your retirement home:

    Private Funds

The funds in your savings could be used to pay for the retirement home and its amenities.

    Home Equity

You can sell off your old home to generate funds for the retirement home you’ll be relocating to. Besides, it’ll be worth it, and you shouldn’t regret selling or renting your home.

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    Long Term Care Insurance

This insurance can cover expenses like housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation, and other activities. With this, you’ll not have to spend so much money.

Nursing Home: Definition

A nursing home is a community that offers exclusive personal and medical care to older persons suffering from severe mental or physical conditions. They take care of older adults who can no longer live independently and require assistance with activities such as walking, bathing, or eating.

Nursing homes offer various services ranging from rehabilitation to long-term residential and nursing care after hospitalization. These can include orthopedic care, wound dressing, breathing treatments, and after-surgery support. Also, they provide recreational activities that suit the health condition and age of its residents.

Nursing Home: Cost of Care

Nursing homes provide more care and supervision than retirement homes. The cost of care in these homes varies across the different geographical areas.

The average monthly cost of care in a nursing home is about $8,821 for a private room and $7,756 for a semi-private room. Living in a nursing home is more expensive than that of a retirement home because they hire many well-trained, skilled, and licensed medical professionals to care for their residents.

When comparing a nursing home vs retirement home, it will be out of place to say that nursing homes are better than retirement homes. The best home for you depends on the level of care and attention you require.

Nursing Homes: How to Pay

Research shows that about 52% of older persons require long-term medical checkups. But, just a few of them make future preparations to cover the necessary costs. Here are some of the ways to pay for nursing home care:


Medicare is a health insurance scheme specially designed for persons above 65 years. This insurance covers rehabilitation and short-term care in a nursing home.

    Long Term Care Insurance

This insurance covers nursing home costs. However, the benefits you enjoy will depend on the state’s policy where the nursing home is located.

    Private Pay

Private pay funds can come from home equity, pension, savings, retirement income, and other financial assets.

It’s a Wrap

After comparing the difference between a retirement home and nursing home, we have seen that the former provide for independent people who want to enjoy care and support, while the latter provide majorly health care. 

No matter the home you choose, their priority is to ensure that your post-retirement period is safe, comfortable, and worthwhile.

When comparing a retirement home vs nursing home, you’ll need to first understand your needs and preferences to be able to choose the one that best suits you.

Also, it is necessary to understand the differences between a retirement home and a nursing home so you’ll be able to assess which of them best suits your needs. 

With the help of this detailed article, you should be able to weigh the differences and make the perfect decision for yourself, or an aging loved one.



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