Skilled Nursing Care vs. Assisted Living: What’s the Difference?

Skilled Nursing Care vs Assisted Living What's the Difference

As you look for senior care options for your loved one, you will come across many types of services including skilled nursing care and assisted living. While seniors may have access to skilled nursing when residing in assisted living facilities, a home health nurse can also offer similar nursing services at home. Before you choose which service is best for your situation, it’s important to understand what each senior care option provides so you can make a sound decision for your family.

What is the Difference Between Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living?

What is Skilled Nursing Care?

Skilled nursing offers complete nursing care to seniors outside of a hospital. Whether your loved one has sustained an injury or needs a nurse to look after them due to persistent or serious health issues, skilled nursing can be ideal when it comes to long-term or short-term care in a facility or at home.

Home Health Nurses & Skilled Nursing Care

A home health nurse can provide one-on-one skilled nursing services in the comfort of your loved one’s home. In-home registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) offer skilled nursing care and medical observation on daily or intermittent levels. From wound care, to medication management, to IV therapy, and even care for serious illnesses or health conditions, home health nurses receive specialized training to provide these services and others.

When to Consider In-Home Skilled Nursing

Some seniors may need to stay in skilled nursing facilities to get the care they need, but others may greatly benefit from in-home skilled nursing care. A home health nurse who provides skilled nursing services may be the perfect option for your family if:

  • Your loved one was recently diagnosed with a health condition such as dementia, diabetes, or a respiratory illness.
  • Your loved one is recovering from a medical emergency such as a stroke or heart attack.
  • Your loved one needs in-home nursing care after undergoing surgery, sustaining an injury, or recovering from an acute illness.
  • Your loved one needs in-home health care and lives alone, or their spouse can’t tend to their medical needs.

In-Home Skilled Nursing Care Services

Home health nurses provide similar services that you can find in assisted living facilities. A home health nursing plan may include the following services and others to meet your loved one’s medical needs:

  • Recovery care for strokes, heart attacks, and serious injuries
  • In-home dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, colostomy, and respiratory care
  • Wound care including changing dressings
  • Tube feedings
  • Nutrition or intravenous therapy
  • Starting, maintaining, and discontinuing IV lines
  • Injections
  • Medication review and management
  • Medication education for patients and their families/caregivers
  • Symptom management
  • Pain control care
  • Monitoring health status
  • Monitoring treatment for injuries, illnesses, and infections
  • Medical care coordination with doctors and other medical professionals

What is Assisted Living?

An assisted living residence is a community that provides basic medical care services, personal care services, and activities and socialization with other residents. Assisted living communities can be good options for seniors who require both long-term medical monitoring, and support with daily activities such as meals, dressing, housekeeping, bathing and transportation.

When to Consider Assisted Living

An assisted living facility can provide skilled nursing services when needed, plus a chance for seniors to remain independent without feeling isolated. An assisted living facility may be an ideal option for your loved one if:

  • They are generally healthy but feel isolated at home.
  • They want to meet more people their own age.
  • They want to feel independent while being cared for in a more social environment.
  • They need help with daily living activities such as bathing, preparing meals, getting dressed or grooming.
  • They can no longer drive and need help getting to the store or appointments.
  • They need basic to advanced medical monitoring and support. 

Assisted Living Services

Assisted living facilities provide both medical services and personal care services for seniors who also want the added benefit of a social community. An assisted living facility typically offers the following services:

  • Help with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, mobility, hygiene, dressing, bathing, toileting, and shopping
  • Basic housekeeping services
  • Daily meal preparation
  • Exercise programs
  • Laundry services
  • Social, recreational, and spiritual programs
  • Transportation services
  • Basic medical services
  • Medication management
  • 24-hour supervision

In-Home Skilled Nursing Care for Seniors

Home health nurses make it possible for your loved one to live at home while receiving the medical care they require. In addition to in-home skilled nursing services, home health care agencies also provide personal care services to help your loved one with daily activities while remaining in a comfortable, familiar environment. Let My Family take care of your family. Contact us today for a home health care assessment.