Today, more than ever, seniors are living longer and healthier lives. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2022, there will be almost 70 million people age 65 or older in the United States.
However, as a person age, they must have several housing options available to them that best fit their unique needs at different stages of life. This includes considering where you will live when you no longer have the stamina or ability to live alone but need some level of care if needed.
Many of these older adults want to remain in their own homes as long as possible to stay connected to friends and family and maintain their independence.
But depending on an individual’s situation and needs, many older adults decide to move from their homes to a skilled nursing facility or an assisted living facility.
If you’re unsure which type of senior housing is right for your loved one, read more about the differences between assisted living and skilled nursing care and where you can find either one locally.
What Is a Skilled Nursing Facility?
Skilled nursing care refers to providing treatment and services to patients who require constant attention from nurses and medical staff due to illness, injury, or old age.
Many people confuse skilled nursing services with assisted living facilities. While both share some standard features, such as housing and medical care, they are very different types of senior housing.
Assisted living facilities provide a home-like, low-medical setting with daily activities and services like housekeeping. Skilled nursing facilities provide medical services around the clock and have licensed practical nurses and medical equipment necessary to respond in an emergency.
A skilled nursing facility is a type of long-term care facility that provides around-the-clock medical supervision for patients who require assistance with activities of daily living.
This type of long-term care is typically required by a person recovering from an illness or injury who has a limited lifespan or a condition requiring constant attention from medical staff.
Depending on the severity of your loved one’s condition, they may need to stay in a skilled nursing home temporarily or long-term.
What to Expect From Skilled Nursing Care
When you or a loved one needs long-term care, the first place many people think to look is skilled nursing communities because of certain things they expect.
For one, skilled nursing care is focused on providing healthcare to patients who need constant attention from medical staff. These facilities have licensed health professionals ready to attend to your loved one’s needs 24/7, so you can expect a certain level of privacy and independence.
Because a skilled nursing facility is a medical setting, patients may share a room with another patient recovering from surgery or a terminally ill patient.
A typical day for a patient in a skilled nursing facility may include various activities designed to meet the needs of all types of patients.
For instance, mobile patients may receive physical therapy several times a week. In contrast, those unable to get out of bed may receive therapy in their rooms through communication activities, reading, and/or special equipment designed to help them stay mentally active.
Terminally ill patients may receive hospice care in the skilled nursing facility setting.
Which is Better: Skilled Nursing Facilities or Assisted Living?
When comparing skilled nursing with assisted living, it’s essential to look at each type of housing from the resident’s perspective.
A nursing facility is the better choice for the person who needs a high level of medical care and attention from medical staff. A resident will receive minimal medical care and attention in an assisted living facility.
In a skilled nursing facility, you can expect to see the following services: Medication administration, assistance with activities of daily living such as eating and bathing, and constant monitoring for signs of health problems such as dehydration and infection.
In an assisted living facility, you will see assistance with medication administration, assistance with eating, and housekeeping services such as laundry.
Benefits of Skilled Nursing Care
The benefits of skilled nursing care vary based on the type of care needed by your loved one. If your loved one needs around-the-clock medical attention and monitoring due to a severe illness, injury, or advanced age, they may require care in a skilled nursing facility.
If your loved one requires a higher level of medical care, they may be happier in a skilled nursing facility. A facility provides around-the-clock monitoring, so your loved ones won’t have to wait for help to arrive when needed.
A skilled nursing facility will also provide constant monitoring and treatment without worrying about disrupting the rest of the household.
How to Find Skilled Nursing Care?
Finding the right skilled nursing facility can be challenging. The most important thing to remember is that you have the right to choose the best facility for you or your loved one.
Finding the right skilled nursing facility begins with research. You can start by searching for local skilled nursing facilities online and visiting the facilities’ websites that interest you. Also, be sure to ask other people for recommendations. You may also want to consider your loved one’s needs when narrowing down your list.
You also have to factor in the cost. Does the facility accept Medicare or your private health insurance? Other factors, such as location, the staff-to-patient ratio, and the level of medical care provided will also play a key role in your final decision.
Final Words: Making the Right Decision
When choosing the right type of long-term care for you or your loved one, there are many factors to consider. One important thing to remember is that there is no “one size fits all” solution. The best type of care for one person may not be the best choice for you or your loved one.
That being said, if you would like some more clarity on whether skilled nursing is the right option, you should reach out to StoneBridge Senior Living.
We provide assisted living and skilled nursing care services designed to provide personalized care to the elderly. Feel free to call us at (855)308-3781 for more information.