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Assisted Living vs. Skilled Nursing – What You Need to Know

Assisted Living vs. Skilled Nursing – What You Need to Know

Living a full and independent life is a desire many share, but for some seniors, daily tasks can become increasingly difficult as time passes. Whether it’s managing medications, preparing meals, or keeping up with housework, challenges can arise that make independent living unsafe or impractical.

Fortunately, there are senior care options available to bridge the gap between living at home entirely on one’s own and needing full-time medical care. Assisted living and skilled nursing facilities offer different levels of support, catering to varying needs. While both can provide a safe and comfortable environment for seniors, understanding the key differences is crucial when making an informed decision.

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

The best way to understand the difference between assisted living and skilled nursing is to consider where these types of senior services are on the continuum of care spectrum. In a nutshell, assisted living supports independence, while skilled nursing calls for a more complex suite of services. What determines where a senior can enjoy the most independent, safe, and comfortable lifestyle is essentially the level of care they require.

At Blakeford Senior Life, we often get questions from prospective new residents on the differences between assisted living and skilled nursing and what kinds of services are involved. Here’s a quick overview of what Blakeford offers seniors in our communities.

Assisted Living Service Offerings

Assisted living offers a supportive environment for seniors who need some help with daily activities but still desire a degree of independence.  Here’s what you can expect:

  • Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): This includes help with bathing, dressing, grooming, mobility, and toileting.
  • Medication Management: Staff can assist with reminders, dispensing medications, and monitoring for side effects
  • Individualized Living: Residents have their own apartments or living spaces, allowing for privacy and a sense of control over their routines
  • Choice and Flexibility: Residents typically have control over their daily routines, choosing their mealtimes, scheduling, and activities.
  • Amenities: Assisted living communities often provide on-site dining, housekeeping, laundry services, eliminating the burden of daily chores for residents.
  • Activities and Socialization: Assisted living communities offer a variety of social activities and events, fostering a sense of community and engagement. Residents often have flexibility in choosing their daily routines and participating in activities they enjoy.

Skilled Nursing Service Offerings

For seniors, skilled nursing services are often provided for short-term stays following hospitalization, surgery, injury, or other health-related issues that can’t be addressed in an assisted living setting. These short-term stays are generally focused on rehabilitation with the goal of returning the senior to their independent lifestyle.

Seniors who suffer from complex, chronic health issues may need to make a skilled nursing community their long-term home. These residents need significant assistance with ADLs as well as 24/7 medical care and supervision by healthcare professionals and licensed staff.

Choosing Between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing

Deciding between assisted living and skilled nursing depends on a variety of factors specific to each senior’s needs and situation. Here are some key considerations:

  • Level of Care Needed: The most crucial factor is the level of medical care required. Assisted living provides assistance with daily activities, while skilled nursing offers 24/7 supervision and specialized medical care.
  • Independence Desired: For seniors who value their independence, assisted living allows for more autonomy in daily routines and living arrangements. Skilled nursing offers a supportive environment but with a greater emphasis on medical care.
  • Doctor’s Assessment: A doctor’s evaluation of the senior’s medical needs is vital for recommending the most appropriate level of care. This ensures the chosen facility provides the necessary support for a safe and comfortable living environment.

Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing & More in Nashville, TN

Blakeford Senior Living is a vibrant and supportive environment that offers assisted living, skilled nursing, and more continuing care options. Whether you or a loved one needs a helping hand with daily activities or requires specialized medical care, we can provide the perfect fit.

Contact us today to schedule a tour and learn more about how Blakeford can help you live life to the fullest!