Assisted Living & Senior Living

Assisted Living vs. Skilled Nursing Care

By September 24, 2015 No Comments

Long Term Care

Assisted Living Care vs. Skilled Nursing Care

When a person requires someone else to help him with his physical or emotional needs over an extended period of time, this is considered long-term care.
This help may be required temporary while they recover from an Illness, accident or injury.
Or it may be more permanently needed for many months or years. At American Senior Home Finders we mainly deal with the permanent.
There are two other terms here that are important to define to help us understand level of care.
Custodial Care and Skilled Care
Custodial care and skilled care are terms used by the medical community.
They are used primarily to differentiate care provided by medical specialists; doctors and nurses as opposed to care provided by aides, volunteers, family or friends. These terms do not define the types of care, but more WHO is administering that care.
Many people mistakenly think that assisted living care is actually medical care in a Skilled Nursing Facility. BUT IT IS NOT.

Skilled Nursing Care

Skilled care refers to services that are provided by skilled or licensed medical personnel; DOCTORS, NURSES, ETC.
Skilled care is medically necessary to improve the quality of health care of patients or to maintain or slow the progress of failing organs such as the heart, liver, kidney, etc. Or During medical treatment for cancers.
Skilled care has to be in a medical setting that has the capability to deliver the services safely and effectively. Like a Skilled Nursing Home, Center or Facility.
Things that would be included in this type of facility are:
Monitoring vital signs Medical Testing Drawing Blood
Intravenous injections / or Feeding tube, ETC. You get the idea here.
Typically a person is going to be cared for in a skilled care setting only as long as needed.

Assisted Living Care

Custodial care refers to services that are often provided by family, home care aids such as caregivers provided by an agency, neighbors or friends. This type of care is also provided in Assisted Living communities and Residential Care Homes.
Their primary focus is to help with ones Activities of Daily Living.
Transferring (walking)
And continence care
By Statistic it has been found that people who move into Assisted Living Communities have an increase of health and mental ability in just 3 months. AND this improvement helps them maintain a better quality of life than they before they moved in.
This is the type of care that American Senior Home Finders helps families find.

Medi- Cal vs. Private Pay

Another thing that is often misunderstood is how this care is paid for.
A high percent of families that call me think that Medicare or Medi-Cal or some other unknown government program is going to pay for their Long Term Care in Assisted Living community. This just isn’t true. Your Medicare, or Health Insurance WILL pay for the skilled care when it is temporary.
It is very difficult to find a Long Term Care open bed in a skilled facility paid only be Medi-Cal because it Just doesn’t make them enough money. And it is really for people that need medical attention.
So it is really a misconception.

Long Term Custodial Care is an OUT OF POCKET Expense

There are some benefits for Long Term Care from the Veteran Administrations but it still will not cover the full cost
LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE policies can cover some of this expense as well and this is VERY helpful.
GOOD RETIREMENT PLANS –This can be created by working with your Financial Advisor, Estate Planning Attorney or other such financial professional. This is a smart way for families to ensure that their long term care needs are correctly planned for.
If there is no LTC insurance, or organized plan we have to work within the seniors Social security and any other pension to find what they need.


Donna Rybacki

Senior Placement Specialist