Senior Living Care Blog

Skilled Nursing vs. Assisted Living: What You Need To Know:

Posted by Sara Niemiec on Jun 18, 2018 11:00:00 AM

There comes a point in many children's lives where they have to decide what the next steps are for their parent or loved one. Even if they need around the clock care, or are interested in living in a senior community full of activity, it can be tough to determine what the best type of care is for your loved ones. All your life, they have taken care of you, and now the tables have turned. They are trusting you to help them make the decision to move into a new home that will provide them with the best care while they enjoy their future years. While there are many different types of cares options for seniors, two of the most prevalent are skilled nursing and assisted living. What is the difference between these two types of care? Keep reading to learn about both of these types of care for our family members that we love.


Skilled Nursing Vs. Assisted Living:


Assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities are similar but have one distinct characteristic. The level of care is the differentiating factor between these types of facilities providing assistance and treatment for our loved ones. Unlike assisted living that has staff members that can help individuals with day to day tasks, while still maintaining a sense of independence, skilled nursing facilities have round the clock care, 24/7.

If you are looking into possible options for yourself or a loved one, begin by doing research online. You can use resources online to search for and compare different options. You can check out the website, or contact your state’s Aging Services Division. This agency is dedicated to providing assistance for the elderly in their region through community-based services and programs.


Skilled Nursing:

Individuals who enter a skilled nursing facility or a program that offers skilled nursing tend to have medical issues that need 24/7 care or have a debilitating condition that requires constant attention. Stays in facilities that provide skilled nursing can range in time depending on the necessities of a patient. An individual who is recovering from surgery that entails constant wound care may only stay for a week or two, compared to an individual who has a medical condition/disease that requires continuous attention and dependence on others. Many individuals have peace of mind knowing that if they need medical care or help no matter what day or time it is, they will always have it. Many individuals may also want to stay in their home instead of moving to a skilled nursing facility; skilled nurses can be hired to be with your loved one in the comfort of their own home if that is a route they wish to pursue.

This type of care is known as in-home care. As its name suggests, in-home care takes place at the patient’s residence or shared living space. For many seniors, in-home care is provided by a relative, loved one, friend, or neighbor who drops by often or lives in the same residence. However, many also enlist the help of professional nurses to offer assistance with cooking, walking, grocery shopping, and bathing. These types of caregivers often require training to be legally allowed to administer this kind of care. If you’re looking for a skilled nursing facility or in-home caregiver you should first visit This tool is an excellent source for finding elder services hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services.

 Medical supplies-Skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities both provide nursing care for those in need.


Assisted Living:

Assisted living facilities provide expert services based on the changing needs of residents within the community. Individuals who may require extra assistance while maintaining a sense of independence are the types of individuals who enter into assisted living communities. Staff can provide assistance in the comfort and privacy of residents own apartments, while still allowing them to engage in their ADLs (activities of daily life). While assisted living communities do not have nurses on staff 24/7, they still have a high level of involvement to ensure the safety and well-being of residents. Some of the ways the staff maintain well-being are as follows:

  • Personal care services-Assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, and grooming.
  • Self-administered medication monitoring.
  • Personal laundry services and extra housekeeping.
  • Companionship services.
  • Three daily safety checks.
  • Escorts to meals.
  • Podiatry.
  • Pharmacy delivery.
  • Physical and occupational therapy.
  • Laboratory services.
  • Visiting nurse agencies.
  • Reiki, aromatherapy and tai chi classes.
  • Full salon and barber services.


There comes a time in life when we have to determine what the next best steps are for our loved ones. Regardless if they would feel happier in a skilled nursing facility or assisted living community, both settings are beneficial to those in need. Some seniors may prefer an assisted living community where they still have a sense of independence while having temporary assistance when they need it. Others may prefer having constant care 24/7, even if it is only for a short duration of time.

Another option that you may need to consider is finding a rehabilitative care facility. This kind of opportunity is best for any senior who needs help regaining motor control or maintaining physical health. Certain types of treatment centers can help with stroke recovery, orthopedic care, and various kinds of therapy, such as physical, occupational, or speech therapy.

Other facilities offer specialized memory care services for those suffering from various forms of dementia. Dementia can range from mild to severe. This disease requires specialized care that caters to the specific needs of the individual that is affected. Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, demands assistance for helping with intellectual, social, memory, problem-solving, and communication difficulties. Read our article on early signs of dementia to learn more about the disease and its various manifestations.


Next Steps

When you or your loved ones are ready to take the next step and find a senior living community that's right for them, look no further. Landmark Senior Living offers assisted living, independent living, memory care and more. At Landmark, you are ensuring that your loved ones are in the best hands for the care they need.


 Learn More Here



Topics: Assisted Living

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