Learn & Grow/Assisted Living/The Difference Between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing
Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing

The Difference Between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing

Assisted living and skilled nursing are levels of care that help older adults continue living the lives they love while getting the support they need to get the most out of every day. While both types of care are designed for older adults in senior living communities, each offers very different benefits. Below, we’re outlining the key differences between the two levels of care to help you decide which option is best suited to provide for your needs or the needs of a loved one.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a senior living option that benefits older adults who may need a helping hand in performing daily tasks. For some older adults, assisted living services could be as simple as receiving help getting dressed in the morning or bathing at night, while for others, it could be getting help with medication management. Due to the unique nature of every individual’s specific needs, there are a variety of assisted living types that cater to different situations, such as memory care support.

Residents within assisted living communities retain many of the same amenities they’d have while living independently. These amenities often include private residences, common grounds for group activities, game rooms, arts and crafts studios, multiple dining venues, fitness areas to stay fit and healthy, salons and barbers to keep looking sharp, as well as libraries to keep their minds as active as their bodies. The goal of assisted living is the same as it is for independent living for seniors—to help older adults retain a sense of self-sufficiency, support their goals, and empower them to live fully.

What is Skilled Nursing?

Skilled nursing care is ideal for older adults who require professional care throughout most of their day. Nurses and certified nursing assistants are available to care for the resident and provide 24/7 support. Short- and long-term skilled nursing care is often provided for seniors with an illness or an injury, with some of the more common ailments being cardiac failure, diabetes, hip or bone fractures, strokes, orthopedic surgery, and Parkinson’s disease.

It’s also worth noting that skilled nursing services aren’t limited to registered nurses and can include the services of a dietitian, a social worker, and even an activities coordinator.

Skilled Nursing vs. Assisted Living | Key Differences

Assisted living and skilled nursing differ in the specific level of care the older adult receives daily. Residents in assisted living communities will receive help from full-time team members several times a day, like when they are getting ready in the morning or need to manage their medication. On the other hand, an individual living within a skilled nursing community will have licensed medical professionals 24/7 on-site to provide for their medical needs.

Put simply, assisted living means having the assistance you need to perform daily tasks, whereas skilled nursing provides 24/7 medical care and monitoring for older adults with serious health conditions.

Find the Right Level of Care in Downers Grove, IL

Deciding to move to a senior retirement community requires a great deal of consideration, not only in terms of the accommodations, but especially in terms of the level of care. If you or your loved one only requires assistance performing daily tasks, then an assisted living community may be the best choice. However, if you or your loved one has a serious health condition, skilled nursing can likely provide the appropriate level of support.

Then again, the level of care you need now may differ from the level you need further down the road. That’s why a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that offers Life Care is such an appealing option. Life Care community residents have priority access to a full complement of health services to ensure they are cared for no matter what the future holds.

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

Related Stories