What’s the Difference Between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing?

What’s the Difference Between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing?

It can be painfully apparent when a parent needs long-term care. Perhaps her doctor told her she is no longer safe to live alone, or perhaps you have been the primary caregiver but now her care needs have outstripped your abilities. Your next task is finding the right long-term care for your mom. But what is it?

Many people automatically think of a “nursing home” when a parent can no longer take care of themselves or live alone, but the truth is long-term care options provide different levels of care. Two of the most comprehensive long-term care options are Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing – which have different qualifications for their residents.

So, what’s the difference between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing? Let’s break it down:

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted Living is meant for a person who can live mostly independently, but needs some basic assistance. Typically when someone refers to assisted living, they are talking about a Community Based Residential Facility (CBRF). Another type of assisted living is known as a Residential Care Apartment Complex (RCAC). To have a CBRF or RCAC license, an organization must comply with strict local, state, and federal regulations.

In this blog post, we’ll focus on what the services of a CBRF are, but head on over to our Supportive Living page if you’re interested in learning more about RCAC services.

A CBRF offers:

  • 24-hour onsite staff
  • Assistance with the activities of daily living
  • 3 meals a day
  • Medication management or reminders
  • Social services
  • Life Enrichment activities and programs
  • Housekeeping
  • Transportation arrangements
  • Laundry
  • Maintenance

Services are individualized for each resident’s needs to help ensure their well-being and satisfaction. The National Center for Assisted Living has some great resources for those researching assisted living communities.

Luther Manor offers CBRF and RCAC services on our Wauwatosa campus. Our Mequon Assisted Living location, Luther Manor at River Oaks, is a CBRF. Visit our Assisted Living page to learn more.

What is Skilled Nursing?

A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) provides a dedicated team of specially-trained staff members and medical professionals who deliver care for those in need of 24-hour nursing care. This increased level of care is sometimes still known by the outdated term “nursing home.” SNFs are state-regulated and must comply with strict regulations at the local, state, and federal levels.

A SNF provides:

  • 24/7 nursing care
  • Licensed physician medical director
  • Assistance with the activities of daily living
  • 3 meals a day
  • Medication administration
  • Wound care
  • Social services
  • Life Enrichment activities and programs
  • Housekeeping
  • Transportation arrangements
  • Laundry
  • Maintenance

In order to be considered as a potential resident, your loved one will need a doctor’s referral to the SNF of her choice. Upon admission, an individualized care plan will be made. This plan will be adjusted as your loved one’s needs change. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have detailed information about every certified Skilled Nursing Facility in the United States.

Luther Manor’s Wauwatosa Life Plan Community includes a SNF – head over to our Skilled Nursing page for more information.

Which Is Better for My Loved One – Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing?

Your loved one’s primary care physician is a great resource when you are considering long-term care options, but you also should tour the communities and evaluate them for yourself. Communities will typically conduct an assessment of your loved one to determine her care needs. Only after careful review will it be determined if Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing is more appropriate for your loved one.

If you have more questions or would like to tour an Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing facility, we invite you to reach out to one of our Senior Living Advisors at 414.434.3880 or [email protected].

2019-01-15T20:19:00+00:00