Caregiver talking to an elderly woman in a wheelchair.

The Difference Between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing

While assisted living and skilled nursing are care services that help senior citizens continue to live their lives to the fullest, the benefits that each of them offer are quite different from each other. In this article we will outline the key differences between the two types of care so that you can decide which of them would be better suited for your own wants and needs.

What is Assisted Living?

If an older adult needs assisted living, this means that they can accomplish many daily tasks on their own, but they may need an extra helping hand to complete some of them.

Older adults living within an assisted living community retain many of the same amenities and comforts they’d be provided in independent living. Some examples of these amenities are being able to live in your own space, common grounds to relax in, game rooms, arts and crafts rooms, bars, and even cafes to socialize in, fitness areas to stay in shape, salons and barbers to keep looking their best, as well as libraries to keep their mind as sharp as the day they checked in.

What is Skilled Nursing?

Skilled nursing is when an older adult has a licensed medical professional providing for them at all times. This is usually the case if the resident needs professional medical attention throughout most of their day. For example, if an older adult had recently suffered from a stroke or undergone extensive surgery, a licensed nurse could help the older adult by providing the physical and occupational therapy needed for them to recover from their ailment.

Skilled nursing includes the services of other healthcare professionals if required, such as speech and language pathologists, audiologists and medical directors.

How Does Skilled Nursing Differ from Assisted Living?

The main difference between assisted living and skilled nursing is the level of care the older adult receives throughout their day. An older adult in assisted living might receive help from full-time staff several times a day, such as help performing household chores and taking medications.

An individual living within a skilled nursing environment, on the other hand, will have a licensed medical professional with them to provide 24/7 care. This service is best for older adults who are recovering from surgery or suffer from medical conditions that could potentially make doing their day-to-day tasks difficult. Lastly, skilled nursing often requires a transfer agreement between the resident and the nearest hospital in case emergency care is needed.

Find the Right Level of Care in Delray Beach, FL

When it comes to choosing your senior living arrangement, one needs to consider not only the wants, but the needs of the older adult. If the older adult only needs care intermittently throughout the course of the day for particular activities, then an assisted living community is right for them. If an older adult has a serious underlying health condition, then skilled nursing is likely their best option. That way, they’ll always have a licensed professional to care for them if need be. Additionally, our care needs often change over time, so be sure to look for a community like Abbey Delray that offers a full continuum of health services.

As with any major life decision, there’s many factors to consider when deciding if it’s time to move into an assisted living or skilled nursing arrangement. But hopefully the points laid out here help point you in the right direction and enable you to make a more informed decision.

Call us any time at 561-454-2000, or fill out the form below to learn more about what sets our community apart from others in the Delray Beach area.