With all these different terms out there, it can be hard to figure out exactly what you might be looking for. We wanted to lay out the three classifications of services, and what distinguishes each. Like drink combinations at your local Starbucks, there are numerous combinations which can blur the lines among these three options.
Broadly speaking, senior housing provides basic rental housing and can include meals, social activities, transportation, and some basic medical services to seniors. This can also refer to Independent Living, or IL.
Assisted Living Facilities, or ALF’s as they are commonly known, typically provide the same elements as Senior Housing, but include more comprehensive medical services. These facilities can also include services or building units that provide “memory care” or “Alzheimer’s care” with dedicated nursing staff. Like Senior Housing, much of Assisted Living is funded through private pay or long term care insurance.
Skilled Nursing is traditionally known as nursing homes. These facilities offer the most comprehensive medical services for seniors; however, given the medical needs of the residents, the services offered tend to be focused exclusively on Activities of Daily Living, or ADL. Given the medical complexity, these services also tend to be primarily reimbursed via Medicare which can sometimes affect the quality of the interaction of the residents and the caregivers.
Coming soon, we will write about how to think about which site setting is the most appropriate for your loved one. There is often no one right answer, and it is common for a resident to transition from one, to the next, to the next as medical needs increase.