Choosing between an assisted living home and a skilled nursing home is a huge decision to make for your loved one. It can affect how much you pay as well as the care your loved one receives. The decision also affects the atmosphere your loved one is in each day. In many cases, an assisted living home excels in various aspects.

What is an Assisted Living Home?

An assisted living home is ideal for people who need minimum care. The point of an assisted living home is to provide a person with constant monitoring and assistance with daily living tasks including bathing, dressing and other areas of personal hygiene. A person may need help with medications or feeding. At an assisted living facility, patients must be able to actually ingest food because the facility isn’t equipped to handle feeding tubes. You may need to have an initial assessment of your loved one’s level of health to see if he or she qualifies for assisted living.

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The staff tends to consist of more aids than nurses, and the aids are responsible for a majority of the patient’s care while the nurse or nurses just oversee it. At an assisted living facility, the rooms tend to resemble home more than a hospital. Patients receive a more personalized experience since the staff tends to have more time per patient. Basically, an assisted living facility is for people who require some assistance and monitoring but don’t require an extensive amount of care.

How Does it Differ From Skilled Nursing?

A skilled nursing facility is for people who require a more extensive level of care. People who qualify for skilled living services tend to be patients who require help with most to all daily living activities. Those who are immobile qualify as skilled care. In a skilled nursing facility, the nurses are responsible for medication administration since patients tend to require more than just standard medications. For instance, those who are on any intravenous medications must live in a skilled nursing home. The staff at a skilled facility is trained to identify medication interactions and is able to carefully monitor serious health conditions. Anyone who has a feeding tube must reside in a skilled facility. Oftentimes, patients start as assisted living patients and require more care over time as their health begins to decline.

A skilled nursing home has a more hospital-like environment. Oftentimes, the halls and rooms remind you of a hospital when you walk through, although some skilled facilities are shifting to a more home-like appearance.

Deciding the Right Option for Your Loved One

Basically, the decision must be based on the level of care your loved one needs. If your loved one has significant deficits in his or her health that require constant monitoring and care, skilled care is usually the answer. A skilled facility tends to come at a higher price than a majority of assisted living homes.