What is the difference between assisted living and a skilled nursing facility?
When you are looking at options for your loved one or yourself and it becomes clear that more help is needed than just the occasionally visitor can provide, finding the right alternative to independent living can be overwhelming.
One of the most common question seniors have is what the difference is between assisted living and a skilled nursing facility. Will they need one over the other?
Skilled Nursing Facilities
A senior may be placed in a skilled nursing facility if they have experienced medical trauma. For example, if they fall and require rehabilitation, or if they go through a major surgery that has a longer recovery time than a couple of days.
These facilities are crucial, as they allow the patient to be moved from a hospital. While hospitals are great for treating conditions in the short term, or for immediate intervention, they have a high infection rate. So moving the patient as soon as possible to either their home or one of the rehab centers is ideal.
The average stay for a patient at one of these facilities is a week to a couple of months. Once the patient has healed enough to continue recovery at home, they are discharged.
Assisted Living Facilities
An assisted living facility is a permanent residence that allows the person in question to live semi-independently. They have their own apartment and the ability to come and go as they choose. However, there is medical and assistance staff on hand 24/7.
These professionals can assist with everyday tasks that have become difficult for the resident. That may include bathing, cleaning, cooking, feed, dressing and general motor issues. They also help monitor medication schedules when needed and are on hand if there is an emergency, such as a fall or a potentially fatal event like a heart attack or stroke.
Many families choose assisted living facilities over nursing homes for their loved ones because of the balance between care and independence it offers the residents. While their loved one can move about freely and be within their own space, there is less risk of accidents or injury occurring. It provides peace of mind for everyone involved.
Moving From Skilled Nursing to Assisted Living
In many cases, a patient will be referred to assisted living after being within a skilled nursing facility. In that case, there are case workers within the rehab center that can be help find a location, petition social security or insurance and help with the finer details of the move.