Assisted living and skilled nursing are levels of care that help older adults continue living life while getting the support they need to get the most out of every day. While both of these types of care are designed for older adults, the benefits that each offers are very different. Here we will outline the key differences between the two levels of care so that you can decide which option is best suited to provide for your needs or the needs of your loved one.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living means that an older adult needs an extra helping hand in performing daily tasks that they are no longer able to complete on their own. For some older adults, it could be as simple as needing help getting dressed in the morning or bathing at night, while for others it could be difficult for them to remember which medications to take at a specific time of the day.
Residents living within assisted living communities retain many of the same amenities and they’d have while living independently. These types of amenities often include having your own space to live in, common grounds for group activities, game rooms, arts and crafts studios, multiple dining venues, fitness areas to stay fit and healthy, and salons and barbers to keep looking sharp, as well as libraries to keep their minds as active as their bodies.
What is Skilled Nursing?
Skilled nursing is when an older adult requires professional medical attention throughout most of their day. Nurses and certified nursing assistants are available to take care of the resident and provide 24/7 care and support. Short- and long-term skilled nursing care is often provided for seniors with an illness or an injury, with some of the more common ailments being cardiac failure, diabetes, hip or bone fractures, strokes, orthopedic surgery and Parkinson’s disease.
It’s also worth noting that skilled nursing isn’t limited to registered nurses, and can include the services of a dietitian, a social worker and even an activities coordinator.
How Does Skilled Nursing Differ from Assisted Living?
Assisted living and skilled nursing differ in the specific level of care the older adult receives on a daily basis. Residents in assisted living communities will receive help from full-time team members several times a day, like when they are getting ready in the morning or need to manage their medication. On the other hand, an individual living within a skilled nursing community will have licensed medical professionals 24/7 on-site to provide for their medical needs.
Put simply, assisted living provides the assistance you need to perform daily tasks, whereas skilled nursing is about providing medical care for older adults with serious health conditions.
Find the Right Level of Care in Downers Grove, IL
Making the decision to move to a senior retirement community requires a great deal of consideration, not only in terms of the accommodations, but especially in terms of the level of care. If you or your loved one only requires assistance performing daily tasks, then an assisted living community is probably the best choice. But if you or your loved one has a serious health condition, skilled nursing is likely able to provide the appropriate level of support.
Then again, the level of care you need now may not be the same level of care you need further down the road. That’s why a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), also known as Life Care, is such an appealing option. Life Care community residents have priority access to a full complement of health services to ensure they are cared for no matter what the future holds.
Call us any time at 630-769-6100, or fill out the form on this page to learn more about what sets our Downers Grove community apart from others in the area.