When it comes to choosing the best living option for you or your loved one, you want to ensure that you pick one that meets your needs. The best way to choose between two living options is to know the difference between them, which is why we decided to bring you a comparison of skilled nursing vs assisted living.
These two living options have different settings, care, benefits, and of course drawbacks. Below are the key differences you need to know about in order to choose the right one for you.
Setting and Accommodation
The accommodation and setting of these two living options are quite different, as skilled nursing is considered a medical/institutional setting while assisted living offers a more residential environment. Skilled nursing is similar to a rehabilitation center or traditional nursing home. Meanwhile, assisted living communities are more residential with several apartment options ranging from stand-alone cottages to one-, two-, or three-bedroom apartments.
Level of Need
The level of care the living option provides is very important as that is the main reason for moving into either of them. Both skilled nursing and assisted living offer attentive personal care and services to residents. However, the level and type of care they provide are different.
For someone that needs daily therapy, a ventilator, or IV medication, skilled nursing may be the best choice. This is because skilled nursing is designed to meet those medical needs. However, if all that’s needed is assistance with basic everyday tasks like personal grooming, medication administration, financial management, or social support, assisted living may be an ideal option.
As you make a choice, remember that the needs of your aging loved one may change with time. You can choose between either of the two living options according to your present needs.
Availability of Medical Practitioners
As required by the law, a skilled nursing residence must have a registered nurse on-site for a minimum of 8 hours daily throughout the week. While residents can easily access or call a registered nurse, no law binds the nurses to always be on-site.
Choosing skilled nursing over assisted living may be the best option for you if your loved one needs regular medical assistance. Be sure that you understand your loved one’s needs before you choose. This will help you avoid the unnecessary stress of moving from one living option to another.
Duration of Stay
Skilled nursing is generally known to be for short-term care while assisted living is considered long-term. Many skilled nursing residences offer long-term care to residents who need more time to adjust back to their normal lifestyle after hospitalization or sudden health decline. Meanwhile, assisted living offers residents lifelong assistance while also allowing them to enjoy their life as normal.
Level of Independence
Due to the nature of skilled nursing, residents will be monitored 24/7 and offered medical care throughout their stay. Residents may not get a chance to live freely as much as they would in assisted living. Assisted living communities offer residents the freedom to choose how they want to spend their day while offering assistance with their needs.
Because of the medical needs of residents, the cost of living in a skilled nursing residence is undoubtedly higher than in assisted living. However, the cost of assisted living varies from one community to another depending on several factors such as location, apartment options, and many others.