The terms “assisted living” and “skilled nursing” are often used interchangeably, but they refer to two different levels of senior care. Understanding the differences empowers you to make the best choice for you or your loved one. Both offer a higher level of senior care than independent living, but where do the differences lie? Continue reading to find out.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living embodies the spirit of independence while giving seniors the extra help they need to flourish. This type of residence usually features a rental home or apartment with private access. Here, residents are encouraged to enjoy their independence, but get access to more specialized help for daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, getting dressed and more. Most assisted living campuses are staffed with on-call nurses 24 hours a day.
You’ll likely find beauty salons, pharmacies, a gym, doctors, and restaurants on-campus at an assisted living campus. Assisted living communities typically schedule fun outings for residents and encourage seniors to build friendships with others. Those who need a little assistance but enjoy their independence are the perfect candidates for assisted living. When needs change, it’s common for assisted living residents to transition into a nursing home for a higher level of care. Finding a community with a continuum of care means its time, seniors can stay on campus with the people they love.
What is Skilled Nursing?
Skilled nursing centers, also known commonly known as nursing homes, provide more specialized support. After a hospital stay, nursing homes can act as an intermediate step to provide rehabilitative care before the person returns to independent or assisted living. Skilled nursing centers also offer 24/7 care to those with memory loss problems or seniors needing frequent assistance. It’s not uncommon for seniors suffering from memory loss to wander outside the bounds of campus without proper supervision. For this reason, nursing homes tend to be equipped with security monitoring systems and safety supervisors to keep residents safe.
Some nursing homes will have residents sharing a room with others. If personality conflicts, differing sleep, medication schedules, and visitors are a concern for you or your loved one, seek a nursing home with private rooms. Keep in mind that going with a private room will impact costs. Skilled nursing centers usually brings in engaging activities, since their residents have limited mobility. In short, those needing constant, specialized care or rehabilitative care will benefit from a skilled nursing facility or nursing home.
Which is Right for You?
As you can see, assisted living and skilled nursing offer two different levels of care. At the heart of both is a focus on creating a safe and healthy environment to help residents thrive. For more independent seniors, the best choice is an assisted living campus with a continuum of care that features skilled nursing, in case their needs change.