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The Difference Between Assisted Living & Skilled Nursing Facilities

By September 13, 2021October 4th, 2021No Comments
blog about assisted living & skilled nursing facilities

It is time to start looking for senior living options that entail moving out of one’s home. Maybe the individual needs more socialization and some added help with household chores and meals. In cases where your loved one has been hospitalized, the doctor may have said that your loved one can no longer go home and they need rehabilitative services. Each situation has different circumstances that dictate the level of service that is needed. A quick search on the internet will bring several results for skilled nursing homes and assisted living homes alike. Knowing which one is appropriate for you or your loved one is important, as there is a significant difference between the two.

What Is A Skilled Nursing Home?

A skilled nursing home entails a need for a higher level of care compared to what is offered in an assisted living home. Skilled nursing homes have Registered Nurses (RN’s), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s) physically staffed in the building 24/7 to assist the residents. Skilled nursing homes are covered by Medicaid and can be partially covered by Medicare, up to 100 days. Assisted living facilities are not covered by Medicare and sometimes accept Medicaid. Skilled nursing homes offer a plethora of services, including:


  • Restorative Rehabilitation Services
  • Speech-Language Pathology Services
  • Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy
  • Post-Hospital and Post-Surgical Care
  • Assistance With Activities Of Daily Living
  • Incontinence, Catheter & Colostomy Care
  • Long-Term Custodial Care
  • Individualized Care Plans
  • Medication Administration and IV Services
  • Therapeutic And Special Diets
  • Diabetic Management
  • Medicare-Certified Beds
  • Blood Transfusions
  • Medical Supplies and Durable Medical Equipment During The Stay
  • Ambulance Transportation


Skilled nursing homes are for individuals that need restorative services and a higher level of medical assistance.

What Is An Assisted Living Home?

Assisted living is a form of long-term care housing for seniors. Individuals that need assisted living are active and more independent, however they may need assistance with daily living activities such as:


  • Medication Management
  • Care Coordination
  • Housekeeping
  • Transportation
  • Bathing
  • Laundry
  • Housekeeping
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
  • Meal Preparation


People who move into assisted living homes are often looking for socialization and engaging activities as well.

Assisted living homes consist of a vast team of compassionate individuals who share a mission to serve the residents and provide an uplifting environment. An assisted living home typically consists of caregivers, nurses, administrators, assistant administrators, activities coordinators, bus drivers, marketing directors, and maintenance technicians. Although there is nursing oversight, they may not have an RN or LPN physically in the building 24/7. The residents can expect to have private living quarters, access to activity rooms, dining areas, spa rooms, and accommodations for private family gatherings.

How To Decide Between Assisted Living And Skilled Nursing

Consult with a medical professional to help determine whether skilled nursing or assisted living is appropriate for your loved one. They will help make the decision process smoother as they give insight about which services will best fit the person’s needs.

What Should People Look for In an Assisted Living And Memory Care Provider?

Choosing the right Assisted Living or Memory Care Provider is vital. Helping a loved one find an assisted living or memory care facility where they feel comfortable, loved, and can engage in personal interests will make all the difference. When searching for an assisted living and memory care home, we recommend that you look at:

  • Staffing Ratios
    • How many staff members are there compared to the number of residents? The higher the staffing ratio, the better. If your loved one needs assistance, are they able to care for them quickly? It is important that the appropriate number of staff are readily available to tend to your loved one’s needs.
  • Inviting And Fully Furnished Room
    • It is important that your loved one feels comfortable during their stay. An inviting, fully furnished room is essential. Ensure that the room is well kept, has a private bathroom, temperature control, comfortable bed, and linens.
  • Delicious And Nutritious Meals
    • Do they provide home-cooked meals and tailor to special dietary needs? It is essential that the food that is being served not only looks and tastes good but is full of health-promoting nutrients.
  • Engaging Activities
    • Do they have a dedicated activities director that helps the residents participate in engaging, life-enriching activities? It is one thing to participate in an activity. It is another thing to participate in one that genuinely interests your loved one. Find out if the activities that are offered can be tailored to your loved one’s interests.
  • Accessible Administrator
    • Is the Administrator readily accessible to answer your questions or address needs? It is important that you can discuss needs or concerns quickly and not have to wait several days before gaining a response. Assess whether you can easily communicate with the Administrator, and how likely they will be able to address you and your loved one’s needs.
  • Residents Are Content And Well Groomed
    • Are the residents happy and look well cared for? It is crucial that your loved one receives the attention, care, and respect that they deserve. Observing the residents at the facility you are visiting will give you a good idea as to how attentive the staff are and the type of care that is being provided.
  • Inviting And Calm Atmosphere
    • Does the atmosphere feel right, and does it feel like home? From the moment that you drive up to the assisted living or memory care home, what type of a feeling do you get? Does it feel welcoming, light, and portray an encouraging atmosphere? When you walk up to the door and enter the building, does it give you a positive impression? Are you warmly greeted by the staff? An inviting, calm, and welcoming atmosphere is important when choosing the right assisted living or memory care home for your loved one.
  • Great Survey Outcomes
    • Does the facility have good survey outcomes, and have they been awarded local and national quality awards? When deciding which memory care home to select, investigate the facility’s survey outcomes. Look at their survey history and determine whether there have been positive or negative outcomes.

These are just a few questions to ask when searching for the perfect assisted living or memory care home.

Choose The Cottages Assisted Living And Memory Care

The Cottages Senior Living will provide the best environment for your loved one. Their small, home-like atmosphere and high staff-to-resident ratio helps ensure that the residents are well cared for and their needs are addressed. The Cottages Assisted Living and Memory Care homes only have a maximum of 16 residents per home, which enables our staff to give more personalized care. The home-cooked meals not only follow dietary guidelines but are delicious and nutritious. The activities are tailored to the residents’ wants and desires, creating life-enriching moments. The administrator has an open-door policy and is never too busy to meet with family or answer questions. The home and atmosphere feel calm, happy, and look like a home. The Cottages are secure but never feel like an institution or hotel. The Cottages Assisted Living and Memory Care has received numerous national and state quality awards for their well-run homes, exuding superior care.

If you are looking for an exceptional assisted living or memory care home, look no further. Call The Cottages today to schedule a tour or speak with one of our experts! (208) 475-1805.

Schedule a tour!

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about the care you or your loved ones will receive at one of our Idaho locations.

If you have any questions, would like to tour one of the Idaho assisted living homes, or receive a no pressure consultation with one of our licensed Administrators, please fill out the form below. Please mention which location or locations are of interest to you.