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Assisted Living vs. Skilled Nursing Care: Which is Right for You or a Loved One?

Assisted living resident of The Esquiline sitting in a wheelchair while talking to a nurse in his living room.

While you may know that independent living at a senior living community isn’t right for you, how do you decide if assisted living or skilled nursing care is the best fit for yourself or a loved one? What’s included in the “assisted” part of assisted living, and how does it differ from long-term skilled nursing care, often referred to as nursing home care?

Read on to learn more about the differences between assisted living and skilled nursing care, and how to weigh the deciding factors.


What is Assisted Living

Assisted living communities are for older adults who need a little extra help performing everyday activities. These communities can help with housekeeping, meals, laundry, and even medication management, daily bathing, and grooming.

At The Esquiline, residents of our St. Francis Center for Assisted Living have numerous opportunities to safely socialize. Many residents who start out with us in our independent living community make the move to the St. Francis Center for Assisted Living when they begin to require a little more help. Any needed medications are administered by a licensed nurse around the clock. And our certified healthcare aides provide assistance with daily life activities and individual requests, such as fetching a snack or a blanket for a resident.

When a new resident is preparing to move into assisted living, a team member meets with them and their family members to review their physician’s assessment and discuss their needs and desires in detail.

Assisted living care at The Esquiline includes:

  • Medication administration by licensed nursing staff
  • Dietary planning and consulting
  • Three nutritious and delicious meals every day
  • Monthly on-site access to specialized healthcare providers
  • Friendly reminders and guidance for activities
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Cable TV and Wi-Fi
  • All utilities (except telephone)
  • Weekly housekeeping with linen service
  • Temperature control for each apartment


What is Skilled Nursing Care?

Skilled nursing care communities may be referred to as nursing homes or skilled nursing care, and they are the best option for older adults who require round-the-clock care and monitoring. Many have advanced or severe conditions that mean they are unable to live even partially independently.

At The Dammert Care Center here at The Esquiline, residents receive 24-hour oversight and care from licensed nurses, medication administration by licensed nursing staff, restorative therapy provided by full-time licensed physical therapy assistants, and more.

Residents enjoy spacious, semi-private rooms with unobtrusive emergency response systems. Our accommodations offer views of the surrounding wooded landscape, and natural light suffuses our common spaces from broad skylights.

With a high team-member-to-resident ratio, daily interactions between dedicated caregivers and residents often result in close, meaningful relationships. It’s not uncommon to hear residents and caregivers sharing memories and photos or simply chatting about the day’s news.

Skilled nursing care at The Esquiline includes:

  • Personalized care plans
  • Access to a full-time medical director and care consultation team
  • Restorative therapy provided by a full-time physical therapy assistant
  • Rock Steady fitness program
  • Whirlpool bath and spa rooms
  • Interactive one-on-one and group programming planned by a full-time activities director
  • All utilities and cable television
  • Delicious meals and dietary consulting

Is Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing Care the Best Fit

In our experience, assisted living care is best for those who fit one or more of these categories:
  • Require help with daily grooming and bathing
  • Need minor medical assistance or medication management but not full-time care
  • Can no longer keep up with regular housework and home maintenance
  • Want to engage in more social activities in a safe and friendly environment
  • Know that their healthcare needs will be changing as existing conditions 

And skilled nursing care is best for those who:

  • Require 24/7 care from skilled nursing professionals due to chronic, progressive conditions such as MS or Parkinson’s
  • Need advanced medication management, such as IV lines or injections
  • Can no longer feed themselves or move around independently
  • Are in need of long-term rehabilitation and therapy in a closely monitored environment

Learn More About Assisted Living Vs. Skilled Nursing Care

We understand that seniors and their families have numerous factors to consider and care options to choose from. That’s why we offer a personalized consultation for each potential resident or potential resident’s family. Contact us to find out more about our custom care options.
If you are evaluating your current cost of living versus living at a senior community, we invite you to download our Cost of Living Comparison Guide.

Get the Cost of Living Comparison Guide