Key Differences Between Assisted Living And Skilled Nursing In Senior Care

Senior care centers are no longer just one specific type. When you begin looking for a senior care facility for your loved one, you will notice several different types available. Some of these are combined facilities that offer care on various levels. Two of the most popular levels of care are assisted living and skilled nursing. If you are not familiar with these two options and how they differ, here are some key differences to consider. 

Assistance Based Care

Assisted living senior care facilities focus on helping an independent senior with daily activities. These activities can range from help with getting dressed to help with medication management. Some seniors may need help with getting in and out of bed or with making sure they maintain their health and well-being throughout the day. In many cases, your loved one will be assisted by a certified nursing assistant as well as a charge nurse. This ensures they are receiving the daily help they need as well as medication assistance. 

Medication Management

Both assisted living and skilled nursing senior care facilities offer medication management. The difference is how much management and administration are offered to the senior. In an assisted living environment, many of the daily medications are handled by the nurse. They are given on a specified timetable. However, some assisted living facilities will allow the resident to have over-the-counter medications such as aspirin or mild pain relievers in their rooms. With skilled nursing, all medications including over-the-counter, are given by the nurse. This includes insulin as well as pain relievers and heart medications as needed. 

Feeding and Monitoring

Feeding and monitoring of sleep patterns differ in assisted living and skilled nursing care drastically. For example, in assisted living care most of the feeding is scheduled but the seniors take themselves to the dining hall. They may also choose to have food brought to them or to eat out with friends and family. Monitoring in assisted living at night usually consists of checking on the resident and simply making sure they are sleeping well. In a skilled nursing senior care facility, the feeding may be done by the nurse aide and can be done in a dining hall or room depending on the needs of the senior. Monitoring is done on a routine basis to ensure the senior is sleeping well, is turned periodically to prevent bedsores, and does not need to be changed into dry clothes. 

These are just a few of the differences between an assisted living senior care facility and skilled nursing. If you are in need of either of these types of care, contact a senior care center. They can schedule a tour of their facility and help you determine the ideal care options for your loved one. They can also answer insurance questions regarding the ongoing and long-term care your loved one needs.