865-397-3163 info@jcnh.org

If you have recently begun the search for finding a safe and nurturing living arrangement for an elder, you may not know where to begin. Many individuals begin with “nursing homes near me” only to find that there are multiple levels of care associated with living arrangements for your elder. From searching nursing homes, you’ve probably been introduced to the terms skilled nursing care and assisted living, which is quite frequently misinterpreted as the same type of elder care. With this in mind, here’s a straightforward explanation on the differences between skilled nursing care and assisted living.

Assisted Living

Skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities are often confused for one another. Both types of elder care offer access to skilled medical staff, as well as, assistance with daily activities such as a grooming, meal preparation, and the like. Assisted living is a system of housing and limited care that is designed for seniors who need help with daily activities but do not need a nursing home (Merriam Webster, n.d.). Assisted living entails much more personal independence and will be a logical choice for your senior who needs help with these day to day needs, but still wants to enjoy more independence than say a nursing home. Assisted Living residents are typically mobile, reside in their own studio or one-bedroom apartment, and are more stable health-wise and do not need ongoing medical attention.

Skilled Nursing Care

Skilled Nursing Care is a second option that you should consider when researching alternative living arrangements that offer your elder the correct level of support. Skilled Nursing Care is NOT the same as a nursing home, which we’ll cover shortly, but the distinction is important. A skilled nursing facility is a health-care institution that meets the federal criteria for Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement for nursing care, including supervision of the care of every patient by a physician and full-time nursing staff. In a skilled nursing care facility, employees, staff, and executives ensure the maintenance of records concerning the care and condition of patients, 24/7 nursing care, dispensing medication, implementation of a utilization review plan, and the overall planning and budgeting of the facility.

Skilled nursing care facilities typically offer both long-term as well as short-term stays, with shorter stays being more the norm. In skilled nursing facilities, an emphasis is placed on preparing the resident to return to their independent living situation. Skilled nursing care facilities are typically used after a significant decline in health or after a hospitalization.

Skilled Nursing stays can entail significant medical attention, such as, the application of IV medication lines, ventilators, or respiratory therapy. Seniors who need medical attention from a registered nurse or require daily therapy will want to find a skilled nursing care nearby.

Other Types of Alternative Senior Care

Home Care

Home care is the first alternative type of elder care, and quite often the first type of assistance that family or friends choose. Home care services can include nursing or personal care or both and allow a senior to stay at their home while receiving support while convalescing from an injury or illness, or due to a disability.

Nursing Home

By this point, you should have a better understanding of the differences in a few of the primary elder care facilities. With this in mind, it makes sense that we should mention the most common term that is incorrectly used to label all the different types of living environments the elders, the nursing home. Nursing homes offer a higher level of medical care to residents, but do not emphasize personal independence as much as assisted living facilities. Nursing homes offer the highest level of medical care for individuals whose physical or mental capacities have reached the point of needing around the clock attention.

Dandridge TN Skilled Nursing Care

With so many options for elder care, it can be confusing sorting through all the terminology, however, for family and friends looking for senior care, there are numerous possibilities that will inevitably allow East Tennesseans to find the best fit for their loved one. If you have additional questions about long-term senior care, please contact the team at Jefferson Park at Dandridge at (865) 397-3163, contact us online, or by email at: info@jcnh.org. Our supportive staff is available to guide individuals and families through the transitional process.

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