How Things Can Go Wrong
There are millions of elderly Americans who either reside in a nursing home or live in an assisted living facility. Unfortunately, our loved ones are not always treated with the care and dignity they deserve at their long-term care centers.
Watch: Is your loved one experiencing sudden weight loss, mood changes, or unexplained injuries? How to detect signs of neglect or abuse.
What Is The Difference In Cost Between Skilled Nursing And Assisted Living
According to America Health Care Association, the cost of staying in a skilled nursing facility is nearly double the cost of assisted living.
The majority of assisted living residents also use some form of private pay to cover the cost. Medicare does offer some coverage for those in skilled nursing facilities who are there to recover from a health condition, illness, or surgery. However, that coverage typically doesnt extend beyond 20 days.
For residents paying out of pocket, the annual cost of a private room in a skilled nursing facility is roughly $105,850, while assisted living costs $51,600 a year. These costs will vary depending on where you live and the amenities a person is looking for in a facility.
The Goal Of The Residency
Most skilled nursing institutions aim for rehabilitation, followed by the return to independent living. Sometimes the objective is to rehabilitate a person to transition to a more long-term supportive living situation.
Assisted living, on the other hand, is not considered transitory. The idea is to provide an individual with freedom while aiding with bathing, dressing, and food preparation .
One choice is not superior to the other both serve a distinct purpose based on current demand.
The ability to participate in social events is a significant similarity between skilled nursing and assisted living.
Depending on what a particular residence offers, both supportive living environments may provide a schedule of activities including game nights, religious services, health centers, dining options, and so on that make many residents feel like they are on vacation with friends rather than in an institution.
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How To Choose A Skilled Nursing Or Nursing Home Facility
A hospital case manager or agency social worker may give you a list of possible skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes that have availability. Sarah Ordover, Owner of Assisted Living Locators Los Angeles, recommends doing your research before choosing a short or long term nursing facility. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has created a Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more.
The Nursing Home Compare web site features a quality rating system that gives each nursing home a rating of between 1 and 5 stars. Nursing homes with 5 stars are considered to have much above average quality and nursing homes with 1 star are considered to have quality much below average. There is one overall 5-star rating for each nursing home, and a separate rating for each of the following three sources of information:
Non-profit public interest organization ProPublica has developed its own database called Nursing Home Inspect which compares nursing homes based on the deficiencies cited by regulators and the penalties imposed in the past three years. This database allows you to search nearly 80,000 nursing home inspection reports to look for trends or patterns evaluate nursing homes near you and find nursing homes that have been cited for deficiencies in infection control.
Different Levels Of Medical Care
In the past, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities used to be separate. But the landscape has changedand now many facilities in the Tampa Bay area are dual-certified to provide long-term care and short-term skilled nursing depending on your specific medical needs.
At a long-term nursing home, full-time nurses, aides, and other staff can help residents with daily needs. But if a resident needs urgent medical attention, theyll have access to physicians and other providers who can visit and provide skilled care.
Someone needs skilled care when they require attention or treatment from a licensed medical professional. Skilled care services include physical therapy, wound care, IV medication, and more. Your doctor will help determine if you need skilled care services.
For home health care, a clinician from a home health agency provides basic care right in a patients home. They can also change wound dressings, administer medication, and help with bathing. Licensed therapists can provide physical, speech, or occupational therapy.
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What Type Of Facility Is Right For You
The kind of facility thats right for you will depend on your health and how much help you need with daily activities.
Here are a few questions to help you decide which kind of facility is best suited to you or someone in your care:
- How much help do you need to take care of daily activities like bathing, dressing, and using the restroom?
- Do you need medical care for serious health conditions?
- Are you able to prepare your meals?
- How do you plan to pay for the care you need?
Once youve decided which type of facility best meets your needs, youll need to explore individual facilities to find a good match.
As you compare facilities, keep these questions in mind:
If possible, visit facilities more than once. Talk with friends, neighbors, colleagues, medical professionals, and local organizations that serve older adults to get a sense of which facilities provide the best care in your area.
What Is Long Term Care
Long term care refers to assisted living where a senior needs the assistance of a caregiver for activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, and taking oral medications at the correct time, in addition to ongoing access to licensed medical care.
Long term care facilities are typically part of skilled nursing facilities, making them ideal for residents who need hands-on care and supervision around the clock, but dont need the specialized care of skilled nursing.
Long term care is ideal for patients who have:
- Dementia, Alzheimers disease, and other cognitive disorders
- Parkinsons disease and other neurological conditions
- Chronic conditions limiting mobility and ability to live independently
Long term care isnt meant to provide the same level of medical care as skilled nursing, but there will likely be access to medical practitioners should they be needed. Because long term care is more of a permanent residence than skilled nursing, it isnt typically covered by insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. That said, your specific plan coverages may vary.
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What Is An Assisted Living Community
An assisted living community offers housing to seniors who need help with daily care such as medication management, cooking, and grooming. Assisted living facilities range in size from 25 residents to 120 or more. This type of senior housing is great for healthy seniors who just need some help around the house, as well as those with cognitive issues such as dementia or Alzheimers disease. Senior living communities foster a social atmosphere and offers residents plenty of opportunities for activities and engagement. Even though residents live in their own apartments, they make plenty of friends and their calendars are filled with fun activities such as BINGO and movie nights.
Key Differences Between Assisted Living & Skilled Nursing Care
While both assisted living services and skilled nursing care fall under the senior living umbrella and offer supportive services, the level of care that is provided is where the main difference lies. In an assisted living community, individuals receive care and support that can be done by a certified nursing assistant , Qualified Medication Administration Personnel , or trained caregiver. In contrast, skilled nursing care needs to be provided by a licensed medical professional.
Your health and care needs, or the health and care needs of a family member, will determine which level of care is the most beneficial and will best enhance your quality of life.
At Vivage, we pride ourselves in offering the Right Care in the Right Place at the Right Time. By this, we mean that the care we provide in our long-term care communities throughout Colorado, Missouri, and Nevada is catered to the personal needs of each of our residents. We work with you and your family to create a customized plan that aims to improve overall health and wellness.
If you would like to learn more about our levels of care, services, or communities, we encourage you to contact a member of the Vivage team today.
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How Much Does Assisted Living Cost
Since assisted living residents require less intensive medical support than those in a skilled nursing community, this senior living option is generally more affordable. Whereas a Concord, New Hampshire nursing home costs $8,000 per month, an assisted living community costs a little over $5,500. At an assisted living community, this monthly fee includes expenses such as:
Your monthly bill will be affected by the room you select. As a general rule, larger spaces cost more. If your community offers either shared or individual bathrooms, for instance, the layout with a private bath will be more expensive.
Aging With Grace: The Difference Between Skilled Nursing Vs Memory Care
When exploring the right care for your aging loved one, its important to select a facility that understands the difference between skilled nursing vs. memory care. In this article, well explain each type of care so you can make informed healthcare decisions for your loved one.
In short: Skilled nursing is tailored to the physical needs of the patient, while memory care is specific to the cognitive needs of the resident.
Since each care type fulfills a different need, its important to choose a facility that provides both. This helps you to proactively position your loved one in a single community so that, while their needs change, they can receive consistent, personalized care and avoid the stress of unnecessary change.
At Brentwood Health Care Center, we believe that everyone deserves to age with dignity and respect. Were proud to offer both assisted living for more independent residents, as well as skilled nursing for those with additional medical needs, as well as memory care.
Now lets take a closer look at assisted living vs. skilled nursing vs. memory care.
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Assisted Living Vs Nursing Homes: Which Is Right For You
- Housekeeping, laundry and transportation
- Balanced meals and nutritional options
The biggest differences between assisted living and nursing homes lies in the level of medical and assistive services provided. Residents in assisted living communities typically need general custodial care , whereas residents in a nursing home require 24-hour skilled nursing care and monitoring.
Skilled Nursing: Patient Admissions
As discussed in the video above, when it comes to which nursing home/rehabilitation center a patient is sent to after surgery, the decision is often out of the patients hands. The hospital may be contractually bound to send post-surgical patients to certain nursing homes.
If you do get a choice, be sure to do your homework. Convenient location is important, but youll want to visit each facility youre considering. Observe and evaluate until you find the facility that best matches the needs of your loved one. And, when at all possible, try to include your loved one in the decision-making process.
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What Is Skilled Nursing Care
Skilled nursing refers to medical care that can only be performed by licensed medical professionals. It’s particularly common after complications from a chronic medical condition or a recent injury or illness.
Some examples of medical care that fall under skilled nursing include:
- Intravenous therapy
- Monitoring of specialized equipment or vital signs
Licensed medical professionals, such as speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and registered nurses, can administer skilled nursing care.
Generally speaking, skilled nursing care can be administered anywhere, including in a hospital, a long-term care facility or at home.
Sometimes, skilled nursing care is needed for a short period of time, such as after a hospital stay or an injury. At other times, skilled nursing care may be needed indefinitely, such as when a chronic medical condition gets worse. If your loved ones condition improves, they may no longer need skilled nursing care. This means they could return home or transfer to a less intensive living arrangement, such as assisted living.
Choosing Between Skilled Nursing And Long Term Care
When trying to determine whether skilled nursing or long term care makes more sense, you should consider the ultimate goal. Is the aim to help the patient rehabilitate after an injury or surgery and return to an independent living environment? Or does the patient require more ongoing care due to a chronic condition?
Whether youre looking to move yourself or a loved one into assisted living or long term care, you should consider a few key factors about where you choose to move. First and foremost, you should consider the staffs credentials and manner. Are they friendly, respectful, and thoughtful? Do they have experience caring for others with your condition? Is there easy access to all of the therapists and specialists you might need?
You should also consider the facility itself. Some skilled nursing and long term care facilities tend to feel clinical. For an extended stay, you should look for a place that offers luxury amenities, welcoming decor, regular housekeeping, and well-kept grounds. You should also look for opportunities for exercise, socialization, and education in order to keep the mind and body active during skilled nursing and long term care.
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Assisted Living Versus Skilled Nursing: 7 Main Differences
Heres the deal:
To be able to make an honest assessment regarding you or your family members specific needs, you have to understand the difference between skilled nursing and assisted living.
And if the task of choosing between assisted living vs skilled nursing seems just too daunting, Senior Services of America is here to help.
With over 23 communities in eight states, Senior Services of America will help you find the perfect option for you or your loved one.
The Length Of Your Stay
Nursing homes typically involve long-term stays for people who cant live on their own. Stays can last a few months to a few years. Some nursing homes offer hospice or palliative services for very ill patients who need end-of-life care.
On the other hand, stays at skilled nursing facilities are as short as possible. The goal is typically no longer than 20 days , but some patients may stay longer. The average length of a stay will vary according to an individual patients progress. While SNFs aim to transition patients to independent living as quickly as possible, theyll continue to provide care for as long as a patient continues to improve.
For home health care, your doctor and your home health clinicians can help you determine how long you need home health care services. For some, that might be a few days or weeks. For others, it might be much longer.
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Type And Availability Of Staff
As you may expect, another difference between skilled nursing and assisted living is the type and availability of staffing.
Generally, both types of facilities will have:
An executive director
Dining room coordinator and staff
Most assisted living facilities will have a resident nurse who oversees certified nursing aides and licensed practical nurses as well as patient healthcare as a whole. Some facilities may also offer an onsite health clinic.
Since it is a medical facility, residents in a skilled nursing facility receive round-the-clock care and monitoring by specially trained medical staff.
A skilled nursing facility is the best option for a senior needing medical treatment from a registered nurse 24/7 or requiring daily therapy services.
Does Medicare Cover Care In A Skilled Nursing Facility Or Nursing Home
Medicare Part A covers up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility after a qualifying hospital stay. The Part A deductible covers the first 20 days per benefit period. After that, you pay a share of the cost for each additional day of your stay. You would start paying the full cost after 100 days.
Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care in a nursing home, though Medicaid or private long-term health insurance may. However, Medicare does continue to cover medical care for nursing home residents.
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Nursing Home Vs Assisted Living: Levels Of Care
Both assisted living communities and nursing homes provide onsite care. Both provide assistance with daily activities by serving onsite meals or helping with cleaning, bathing, or other personal hygiene tasks. Both facilities commonly provide weekly recreational activities, such as supervised exercise, movie nights, or group outings.
The primary difference between nursing homes and assisted living comes down to the level of care provided.
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Is Assisted Living Better Than A Nursing Home
Nursing homes prove a better choice when an older person requires permanent medical and custodial care or has a sever chronic illness. An elderly person living at an assisted living facility can relatively do most activities by themselves they have good health and only need help with some daily activities.
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What Does Assisted Living Entail
Assisted living is a long-term care option for seniors who need help with activities of daily living , such as dressing, bathing, toileting, eating, and medication management, but dont require around-the-clock care that is offered in a nursing home.
An assisted living facility offers seniors room and board, full-time 24-hour care, housekeeping, laundry services, social engagement, wellness programs, transportation and outings, meals, and more in addition to personal care.
Most assisted living facilities are large, hotel-like properties, or smaller and more intimate like single-family homes . The assisted living rooms are apartment-like residences and the rooms can be private or semi-private.
Depending on where you live the terminology can vary from state to state for example, you might see assisted living communities referred to as long-term care facilities.
The care and compassion for older adults with ADLs is a priority at all properties. The types of services, amenities, community atmosphere, and culture will vary from property to property but the basic premise of helping those who need assistance every day always remains consistent.
Assisted living facilities offer a number of services to assisted living residents and sometimes those suffering from Alzheimers or dementia. Some assisted living facilities may also have memory care units where staff members receive additional training and work in specialized areas emphasizing memory loss and cognitive care.