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The Differences Between Skilled Nursing vs. Assisted Living

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As we age, it is common to seek assistance and care as daily routines become more challenging. There are various care options to choose from, including skilled nursing and assisted living

Understanding the differences between these two types of care facilities can help you make an informed decision for yourself or a loved one. 

The main differences between skilled nursing and assisted living are that skilled nursing offers 24/7 medical care, ideal for those recovering from illness, whereas assisted living helps older adults with daily tasks while promoting independence.

Another aspect of assisted living that skilled nursing may not offer are the amenities and services available to residents. 

When choosing between the two, it comes down to the individual’s health needs, lifestyle preferences, and budget. It’s always best to weigh the pros and cons of each before making a decision. Let’s learn more!

Understanding Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are designed for individuals who require minimal assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. 

These facilities provide residents with the support they need to maintain an active and independent lifestyle while receiving occasional assistance. 

The staff provides round-the-clock support for basic needs, personal care, medication management, and assistance with daily life activities. 

Residents can enjoy many amenities in assisted living such as fitness centers, community centers, pet-friendly facilities, transportation services, and communal dining rooms.

Understanding Skilled Nursing

On the other hand, skilled nursing facilities are for individuals who require constant medical care and monitoring. 

These facilities are staffed with licensed nurses and medical professionals available 24/7 to manage chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, dementia, and heart disease

Rehabilitative therapy, like physical therapy, is also offered in skilled nursing facilities. Medical care is provided around the clock, including medication management, personal care, and other daily activities as required.

The Differences Between the Two

Assisted living facilities offer an independent living environment while skilled nursing facilities provide a more medically-oriented environment. Skilled nursing facilities provide a higher level of care and medical attention than assisted living facilities. 

Residents require skilled nursing care that cannot be provided by an assisted living facility if they have complex medical care needs, advanced Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s conditions, a severe medical condition, a recent hospitalization, or an acute illness. In this situation, skilled nursing is a better option.

Both facilities offer a high level of care, but the difference between the two is the type of care that can be provided

As a result, assisted living facilities are more suitable for older adults who need minimal assistance at a certain level of independence, and skilled nursing is ideal for older adults who need a higher level of medical care along with assistance with their daily living activities. 

If you or your loved one needs more medical care to monitor and control medical conditions, then skilled nursing is the best choice.

Group of seniors sitting around a table playing cards.

Candidate for Skilled Nursing 

A good candidate for a resident of skilled nursing would be someone who’s just had a major surgery, illness, or injury and needs round-the-clock medical care. 

This includes folks who need complex wound dressings, IV therapy, physical therapy, or even constant monitoring of vital signs. It’s really about providing that extra level of care when it’s needed most.

Candidate for Assisted Living

A good candidate for assisted living is someone who values their independence but needs some support with daily tasks. This might include older adults with physical limitations or those who need help with activities like bathing, dressing, or eating. 

It’s also a great option for folks who want to free themselves from household chores and devote more time to hobbies. 

Even people with mild memory loss or chronic health conditions can thrive in an assisted living community. So, if you or your loved one fit this description, assisted living could be a perfect fit!

Navigating the Right Type of Care 

Finding the right type of care facility for you or your loved one can be challenging, daunting, and overwhelming. 

There are benefits and drawbacks to both skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. Understanding these differences helps make better, informed decisions. 

Skilled nursing facilities are for older adults who have complex medical needs. Assisted living facilities are for older adults who can live independently with little to no assistance. 

Both facilities help provide a safe and comfortable environment, whether it is assisted living or skilled nursing care. The key is to determine your unique care needs, budget, and medical requirements and then choose the best facility to meet those needs.The Lodge at Historic Lewes offers a beautiful Coastal Delaware setting for you or your loved ones to relax and enjoy the important things in life, while professionally trained staff take care of the day-to-day tasks. Why not book a tour today to see for yourself!

Written by The Lodge at Historic Lewes

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