Assisted Living or Nursing Home?

TCAD Aging and Disability Community Resource Guide

Making the decision to move an older person from their home to a place where they can live safely is a tough choice for all involved. Here's what you need to know about your two primary choices.


Assisted Living Facilities

These facilities provide care for people who need services such as medication reminders, meals, transportation, and some assistance with activities of daily living, like bathing and dressing.

Nursing Home Facilities

These facilities provide care for those who are chronically ill or injured and unable to function independently. This includes skilled nursing care, such as after release from the hospital, as well as intermediate care involving some nursing and assistance with most daily activities.

Placement in assisted living facilities and nursing facilities depends on the diagnosis, needs, and safety of the care receiver.


  • Contact your Area Agency on Aging and Disability at 866-836-6678 for additional information or to request a screening.
  • The Tennessee Health Care Association (THCA) offers a Facility Visits Checklist to use when evaluating a facility. THCA also offers a “Guide to Long-term Care in Tennessee.” Visit or contact THCA at 615-834-6520.
  • For additional information on nursing facilities, contact the Tennessee Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 877-236-0013.

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