Do you or a senior loved one need to move from home into a senior living facility? If so, it can be important to understand the different options. The two primary options may be a skilled nursing home and an assisted living facility. Let us review three key differences between the two so that you can make the best choice for yourself or your senior loved one.

1. Level of Care. A skilled nursing home provides full-time medical care and assisntance. While an assisted living facility will provide assistance with daily living tasks like eating, bathing, dressing, and simple medication, the facility is not required to have medical staff on site at all times and is not equipped to administer full time care or complex medical therapies, IV medications, or breathing assistance. 

2. Setting. An assisted living facility provides more of a residential setting than a nursing home, which resembles more of a medical setting. Assisted living facilities may make sense for those who are able to maintain a lot of their independent living but require access to medical care and assistance with some daily activities. A skilled nursing home setting may be appropriate for someone who requires more frequent, or constant, medical care. Skilled nursing home facilities may be striving to resemble residences so that they feel more like a home and many have done a great job accomplishing that task. If you or your senior loved one is very concerned about avoiding a hospital-like feeling, request a tour of the facilities you are considering so that you can understand the community and its setting.

3. Cost. A final significant difference between skilled nursing and assisted living is cost. The best way to understand what coverage options are available and how to plan for this type of care is to contact an elder law attorney. Your elder law attorney can assess your, or your senior loved one’s, financial condition and options for benefits so that you can afford whichever facility makes sense for you.

Our office can guide a family through their estate planning and long-term care planning options. Please contact our office today to schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum.