Assisted Living vs. Skilled Nursing: Understanding the Difference

assisted living vs. skilled nursing

As you start your senior living journey, it will become clear that no two lifestyle options are the same, especially when it comes to the care and services offered. This is because each level of senior living is tailored to the varying needs of older adults.

For example, independent living might be the ideal option for an older adult looking to enhance their retirement years. In contrast, assisted living is better suited for an individual who wants to maintain their independence but may need a helping hand with activities of daily living.

However, when it comes to assisted living vs. skilled nursing, there are many misconceptions that surround each level of care. Many people tend to use these terms interchangeably, which is incorrect and can deter individuals from choosing the right level of care for themselves or someone they love. 

At Peaceful Pines Senior Living, we want to ensure that everyone understands the varying levels of care available. Below, our team shares the difference between assisted living vs. skilled nursing.

Understanding Assisted Living

Assisted living is part of a continuum of long-term care services that provides housing and personal support for older adults who need extra help in their daily lives. These activities, known as Activities of Daily Living or ADLs, are the daily tasks that a person must be able to perform independently in order to live a safe and healthy life. However, as people age, it can be challenging to perform ADLs on one’s own. ADLs consist of:

  • Mobility
  • Feeding
  • Dressing
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Continence

Assisted living provides support with these ADLs, as well as other tasks like medication management, allowing residents to maintain their independence and promote wellness. 

Understanding Skilled Nursing Care

When it comes to residential care options for older adults, the term “nursing home” is often used to describe the many available options. However, assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities (also known as nursing homes) are very different.

Skilled nursing differs from assisted living in many ways, but mostly due to the type of care. Skilled nursing care is recommended for those who require 24-hour medical assistance and monitoring due to extensive health concerns.

Unlike assisted living services, skilled nursing services can only be performed by licensed healthcare professionals. Skilled nursing care can also include rehabilitation and therapies for individuals transitioning from a hospital stay to a community following an illness, injury, or surgery.

Assisted Living vs. Skilled Nursing

While caregivers or certified nursing assistants provide assisted living care and support, residents who live in assisted living communities are still able to maintain the majority of their independence.

Skilled nursing care must be provided by a medical professional, as those who reside in skilled nursing facilities require 24-hour monitoring and continuous medical support. 

No two levels of senior care are the same, which is why it’s important to understand each level to make the right choice for yourself or someone you love. Making an informed decision will allow you or a loved one to enjoy a higher quality of life in a community that fits your lifestyle and needs. 

At Peaceful Pines Senior Living, we strive to set the standard for exceptional care and services that go above and beyond. Fostering a lifestyle of dignity is at the heart of our assisted living model, and we believe that individuals can maintain their independence with a helping hand when they need one. We take the time to get to know each resident so we can offer the right combination of personal attention and support to enhance their days, not control them.

To learn more about our active and engaging communities, we invite you to contact our team and find out how Peaceful Pines Senior Living can uplift your lifestyle or the lifestyle of someone you love!

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