Skilled Nursing Versus Assisted Living

Skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities are both types of long-term care facilities. However, there are some key differences between them that you should understand before choosing one type of home over the other.

Skilled Nursing Versus Assisted Living

1. Skilled Nursing

The term “skilled nursing facility” (SNF) is often used interchangeably with the term “nursing home,” but these terms are not synonymous. A SNF is an intermediate step between home health care and assisted living facilities. The services provided by a SNF allow residents to maintain their independence while giving them greater access to skilled physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Skilled nursing facilities provide more than just round-the-clock medical care; they also offer social programs that help residents stay active and connected in the community. These programs include exercise classes, arts and crafts projects, educational lectures on topics such as financial planning or healthy eating habits. In addition to providing 24-hour medical assistance from licensed nurses who specialize in caring for seniors with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, CNAs are available day or night to assist with daily tasks like bathing or dressing  in case your loved one needs extra help getting ready for bedtime each evening.”

2. Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities provide a range of services, but do not provide medical care.

Services vary by facility, but generally include:

  • Meals and housekeeping services
  • Laundry service (including bedding)
  • Transportation to appointments and shopping trips as needed
  • Recreational activities like crafts or games
  • Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, grooming and personal hygiene
  • Medication management

3. Skilled nursing and assisted living are both types of caregiving facilities. Both provide an array of services, but skilled nursing facilities also provide medical care.

Both skilled nursing and assisted living facilities provide a variety of services for those who need them. Skilled nursing facilities are geared more toward the medical needs of their residents, while assisted living facilities focus on offering social, mental, and physical stimulation to help seniors remain independent. They also provide many of the same amenities, including transportation between home and facility, scheduled activities such as exercise classes and music performances by local artists; some even offer meals at all hours so that residents can eat when they want to (rather than when food is served).

Both types of caregiving facilities have different costs associated with them depending on where you live: A skilled nursing facility may cost $3400-$5000 per month; an assisted living facility will generally cost $3000-$5000 per month. It’s important to note that these numbers don’t take into consideration additional expenses such as any medical equipment needed by your loved one during their stay—which can run from nothing at all (if they’re healthy enough) up through tens of thousands over several years.*


In the end, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities are both types of caregiving facilities. Both provide an array of services, but skilled nursing facilities also provide medical care.

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