Posted: September 18, 2023
When considering a senior living community for a loved one who is in need of additional care, it’s important to make an informed decision based on the individual’s health and the services a community can provide. Though it may feel that there is not a “right time” to move to a senior living community to seek additional support, being informed and prepared can help you avoid making a decision or a move during a crisis. Understanding the difference between assisted living and skilled nursing care is a helpful place to start.
There are many different types of specialized care for older adults. Sometimes people use the terms “assisted living” and “skilled nursing care” interchangeably, but they are two very different things.
Assisted living communities provide residents with a customized level of care that is primarily focused on activities of daily living (ADLs). These can include activities such as eating, medication reminders, and personal hygiene. Residents of assisted living communities do not need around-the-clock nursing care. Most of these communities cannot treat individuals who need wound care, medical monitoring, or therapy.
Assisted living communities closely resemble apartment communities in that they offer different floor plans, various amenities, and proximity to surrounding neighborhoods full of things for residents to do. Due to the focus on connection, these communities are often driven by resident-led enrichment programs that promote autonomy, choice, and whole-person wellness.
Skilled nursing communities provide care or treatment that can only be performed by licensed professionals. The staff at a skilled nursing community typically includes a medical director or Director of Nursing, registered nurses (RNs) and licensed professional nurses (LPNs), and other licensed therapists. Skilled nursing care might be needed short- or long-term, but while residents are there, they need care around the clock. This is the most significant difference between skilled nursing and assisted living.
Skilled nursing communities such as Clermont Park can provide a wide range of services and long-term medical care, such as wound care, intravenous (IV) therapy, injection administration, and monitoring of vital signs and medical equipment. A skilled nursing community can also provide the rehabilitation services your loved one needs, including physical, occupational and speech therapy. At skilled nursing communities, residents typically have custom care plans created for them that guide their treatment and day-to-day.
Some residents may have had home care support prior to joining a skilled nursing community, but their condition has progressed in such a way that their family or caregiver can no longer care for their needs.
Alternatively, guests often come to skilled nursing communities for rehabilitation after a hospital stay and will only be there until they have recovered enough to go home. A skilled nursing community in this case serves as a great middle ground between the hospital and their home.
Whether you are looking for a skilled nursing or assisted living community, there are lots of options and factors to consider. Luckily, many communities take a similar approach as Clermont Park, providing a comprehensive continuum of care should one’s needs change over time.
Consider the following tips when beginning your search for an assisted living or skilled nursing community:
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has a variety of resources for consumers – as does Medicare.gov – to assist you in comparing various senior living communities. Follow the community on social media to get a feel for what life in the community is like and read reviews if you can find them online.
Finally, before making a decision, take a personalized tour of the community, including apartments, dining areas, outside spaces, and other shared spaces. One of the most important considerations in choosing a senior living community is the way you feel when you’re there. A personal tour provides invaluable insight into community life and an opportunity to envision one’s own life in the community.
Navigating the decision making process to find the right level of care and the right community is a difficult one. We are here to help! Contact us today to learn more about purpose-filled assisted living and skilled nursing at Clermont Park.