Some of the services I outline below are standards that existed before social distancing, and other precautionary measures were put in place due to COVID-19. Each of the services or activities that have been modified or stopped due to our COVID-19 precautions is denoted with an asterisk. Our priority is always the health, safety, and security of your loved one.
It is always challenging when a loved one suffers from a condition or situation that requires advanced care or more involved treatment. However, with this reality comes a chance to choose the care that most benefits them. This specific and specialized care can allow healing and make this difficult time in life a little bit easier.
My previous post explored the differences and similarities between Independent Living and Assisted Living. In this post, I’d like to explore the distinctions between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing, as well as the unique advantages of each. Hopefully, these posts will give you some of the additional tools you will need to make educated decisions regarding your loved one’s health and care.
So What’s What?
Assisted Living communities afford their members the independence and care needed to address unique health and social needs. These communities boast many amenities to support an active and enriching lifestyle, with the added security of a professional support and care staff. Stability is essential to the health and well being of all aging adults. At Waunakee Manor, we pride ourselves on the secure and stable environment created by our Assisted Living community.
Skilled Nursing communities offer an even greater level of care than Assisted Living. While they provide many of the same services and commitment to independence, Skilled Nursing communities focus intensively on more specific needs. There is often more considerable attention on advanced care, providing services on-site or nearby.\
It is important to remember that Skilled Nursing stays can range from short to long term. This is based on the type of care that is required for each individual. At Waunakee Manor, we are able to accurately assess and provide the care necessary to produce robust and effective health outcomes for your loved one.
How are they the same?
There are many services that overlap in both Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing. These services represent the core values and care strategies that are emblematic of a positive and secure environment. All of these services are intended to remove the stress and demands of living on your own. This allows your loved one to focus on their health and happiness. Both Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing share some similar services, such as these below (all of which are included in our base rate at Waunakee Manor):
• Activities and group events specifically tailored to engage and entertain community members*
• Chef prepared meals available three times a day*
• Helpful laundry and housekeeping services to reduce daily responsibilities
• Outdoor and indoor communal spaces
• Standard amenities to simplify life, such as utilities and basic cable television
Both types of communities also offer more advanced services at additional costs. These essential care options ensure your loved one receives the high level of attention they require for their individual and unique needs. Tailoring care to specific needs is what both Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing are all about.
The Added Security of Assisted Living
As I covered in my previous article, Assisted Living affords community members the amenities and services designed to maximize your loved one’s health and independence. Staff is present, ensuring the safety and health of all of our community members, but there is a sense of freedom and independence at the core of Assisted Living.
Staff is there to assist your loved one, allowing them to maintain the life and activity they want. This extra attention, along with essential amenities and activities, makes Assisted Living perfect for a loved one who wants their independence with the added support of trained professionals.
Assisted Living at Waunakee Manor uniquely offers a variety of support services that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These include on-site nursing staff and professional services, as well as:
• Ongoing nursing health assessments
• Case management assistance from social workers
• Bathing and personal care assistance from resident assistants or certified nursing assistants
• Physical, occupational, and speech therapy at an additional charge
• Medication management and professional supervision
You can also find specialized services like memory care in Assisted Living communities. Having these options available when needed can make a huge difference for the care of your loved one.
The Specialized Care of Skilled Nursing
Skilled Nursing distinguishes itself from Assisted Living through advanced, focused, and specialized services. Skilled Nursing communities are often designed with more emphasis on care as well. Many communities have private and semi-private rooms, with private bathrooms all on one level to ensure the safety of your loved one. Along with 24-hour Skilled Nursing care from RNs, LPNs, and CNAs, this is an excellent example of the extra level of care these communities provide.
We believe in the power of healing and the importance of our Skilled Nursing staff to ensure robust care and a supportive environment. Here are some additional services that align with our values of responsibility and commitment to Skilled Nursing here at Waunakee Manor:
• Medical case management from your primary care provider or our medical director
• Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
• Social worker to assist with case management
• Meal planning by a licensed dietician
• Community partnerships allow podiatry, dental, audiology, optometry, pharmacy, labs, and diagnostics (including x-rays) to be provided on campus
• Recreational and activity staff
Skilled Nursing can also offer specialized services for unique and serious conditions. For example, we have just opened up our brand new ventilator wing, which supports our community with 20 state-of-art beds. Advanced services like these truly differentiate Skilled Nursing from Assisted Living.
The cost difference between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing is a little more complicated. Skilled Nursing can cost more than Assisted Living, given the additional services and the intense focus on daily management and care. However, Skilled Nursing costs are often covered by Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other programs and insurances.
While this can be a confusing and detailed topic, we’d love to walk you through the coverage and costs for each option. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Maybe we’ll even do a blog post on that soon!
Some Communities Have Both (like Waunakee Manor)!
It is very common for communities to feature both Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing services. While this is implemented differently across different communities, the goal is often the same: to provide a continuum of care and long-term living with as little disruption as possible.
Our community focuses on many aspects of your loved one’s care and even offers a full team approach to offering comfort and support for the most serious circumstances in our community members’ lives. When making important choices, such as palliative care options, we are here to help and offer our services when appropriate.
All of these service offerings can be very beneficial for those who have diverse long-term health needs. While increased costs can complicate this option and your local communities may not provide this type of care, you may want to consider it during your search for possible living solutions.
What’s Best Is What’s Best for You
Any health decision is a difficult one. We hope that you can use this information to find the right choice for you and your loved one. We are also always here to help with any part of your care journey, especially if you are unsure of how and where to start.
Reach out anytime and let us know what questions you have. While we are still maintaining precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, once these restraints have been relaxed, we would love to see you at our community!