Although many use the terms interchangeably, there is a pronounced difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, this conflation means that people in need of care, especially those who are bound to wheelchairs, do not understand what is and is not allowed at care facilities. Breaking down a few misconceptions enables potential residents to find the home that best suits their individual needs. 

1. Wheelchairs Are Never Allowed

Many believe that, due to their regulation, wheelchairs are not allowed in care facilities; however, wheelchair accessible assisted living is actually quite common. Disability laws often require that facilities be wheelchair accessible, since many residents have complained about discrimination or lack of accommodation. Laws vary from home to home, though, so it’s critical to research each individual facility. 

2. Policies Are Uniform 

Whereas nursing homes usually make their own rules, assisted living facilities are beholden to state regulations, meaning no two facilities have the same policies. Wheelchair policies are frequent subjects of varying policies, as a number of assisted living facilities will not accept residents with wheelchairs. Others require that wheelchair-bound residents meet certain criteria, such as being able to get in and out of chairs with little to no help. 

When deciding upon a wheelchair accessible assisted living facility, it’s useful to know the truth behind common policy misconceptions. Be sure to check the laws and requirements of each individual facility when searching for one to call home.