Assisted living and nursing homes represent two different options on the spectrum of senior care. If you do not know the difference, think about them this way: assisted living communities provide a certain level of assistance, but they are designed for people able to care for themselves. On the other hand, nursing homes are primarily caring facilities. A skilled nursing facility in Denver provides 24/7 medical care for people who spend most of their time in bed or suffer from degenerative affections such as dementia.
Assisted living communities do not provide constant supervision. Some of them may have an onsite health clinic and also offer some help with house chores, but residents are able to take care of themselves, so they do not have staff at their disposal 24/7.
On the other hand, nursing home residents suffer from physical or mental issues that make them completely dependent on the care provided by nursing professionals. Some of the people in nursing homes may need this level of care only for a limited period of time, until they recover from accidents. Nursing homes offer less privacy options; there are shared bedrooms and bathrooms, and the overall atmosphere is mostly similar to a hospital. Assisted living facilities are like regular homes, but inhabited exclusively by seniors who receive only some forms of assistance and benefit from community activities organized for them.