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The Difference Between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing

Assisted living and skilled nursing are both levels of care that provide older adults with the support they need to live active and engaged lifestyles. However, each type of care is designed to address a specific set of needs. We can help you better understand the key differences between assisted living and skilled nursing so that you can make an informed decision about which type of care is best for you or your loved one.

What is Assisted Living?

While an older adult may be able to perform many activities of daily living on their own, at times they may need an extra helping hand to complete some everyday tasks. This is where assisted living comes into play. It could be as simple as not having the energy to make their own meals anymore, or needing help getting dressed in the morning. Regardless of the task you may need assistance with, assisted living provides the support they need.

Additionally, older adults living within assisted living communities retain many of the same amenities and they’d have while living independently. Some of these amenities include shared spaces for socializing and group activities, game rooms, arts and crafts studios, dining areas, fitness areas for health and wellness, salons and barbershops to keep residents looking sharp and even libraries to keep their minds healthy and active.

What is Skilled Nursing?

If an older adult requires professional medical attention throughout most of their day, skilled nursing may be the right choice for them. Cardiac failure, diabetes, strokes, hip or bone fractures and Parkinson’s disease are among the most common illnesses or injuries among older adults that require short- or long-term skilled care. In a skilled nursing community, a medical team will be available to provide 24/7 care for the resident. That team can include an on-site geriatric physician, registered and practical nurses and certified nursing assistants.

Contrary to popular thought, a skilled nursing community isn’t limited to nurses and physicians. Communities like Claridge Court can also have a licensed social worker and an activities coordinator on staff to help provide for the needs of skilled nursing residents.

How Does Skilled Nursing Differ from Assisted Living?

The level of care the older adult receives on a daily basis is the key differentiator between assisted living and skilled nursing accommodations. Assisted living communities offer intermittent help from full-time staff to older adults, such as when preparing meals, getting dressed in the morning or bathing. Alternatively, individuals living within skilled nursing communities will have a team of nurses and certified nursing assistants providing personalized care 24/7.

It ultimately depends on what type of care and support you need on a day-to-day basis.

Find the Right Level of Care in Prairie Village, KS

When it comes to choosing your senior living arrangement, there is a lot to consider. Like many big decisions in life, it’s all about striking a balance between your own wants and your own needs. If the older adult needs only infrequent care 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 licensed professionals to care for them if need be.

Because the level of care you need now may not be the same level of care you need in the future, consider a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), also known as Life Care. Living in a Life Care community means that you have priority access to multiple levels of care, so you can live your life knowing that your needs are going to be cared for.

Call us any time at 630-769-6100, or fill out the form on this page to learn more about what sets our Prairie Village community apart from others in the area.

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