Skilled Nursing vs Memory Care — Which is Best?

St. Andrew's has been helping families find senior care solutions that work for their lifestyle and budget for years. All those years of experience means we've learned a lot. We'll let you in on a secret: there is no single best senior living community. There is only the community that is the best fit for you or your loved one. Which community is best depends on what level of care you or your aging family member needs. If someone in your family requires extensive help with medical issues or memory loss, then memory care or skilled nursing services are likely the best fit.

Keep reading to learn more about skilled nursing vs memory care, so that your family can make an informed decision about which senior living option works best for your family's needs.

All About Memory Care vs Skilled Nursing

When healthcare issues progress to the point that in-home care or assisted living is no longer safe, it is worth it to explore other options.

Memory Care Communities

Memory care communities are senior living communities specially designed for older adults living with memory loss and cognitive impairment, such as those living with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia. These communities provide a secure environment in which dementia patients can thrive and receive personal care services like assistance with activities of daily living, or ADLs (e.g., bathing and dressing). Memory care communities can either be their own independent facilities or they can be inside larger senior care communities, oftentimes assisted living communities.

Common memory care amenities and services include assistance with ADLs, regularly scheduled social activities, group wellness classes, and easy-to-follow floor plans.

Also known as:

  • Memory care units
  • Memory care facilities
  • Memory care residences
  • Dementia care
  • Alzheimer's care

Amenities and services:

Cost of Memory Care

According to Dementia Care Central, the average monthly cost of memory care in the United States was $6,160 in 2023.

Common ways to pay for memory care services include:

  • Medicare (short-term basis in specific situations only)
  • Medicaid
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Veterans benefits
  • Personal savings and assets

Skilled Nursing Care Communities

Skilled nursing care communities are specially designed for people with severe disabilities and medical care needs. At these communities, staff members include registered nurses and other medical professionals who offer skilled nursing care services to residents. All staff members received specialized training to deliver top-notch specialized care around the clock.

Common amenities and services at these locations include 24/7 monitoring, advanced staff training, short-term rehab and physical therapy services, and regularly planned social events.

Also known as:

  • Skilled nursing care facilities
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • SNFs
  • Nursing homes
  • Nursing home care facilities

Amenities and services:

Cost of Skilled Nursing Care

According to Genworth Financial's Cost of Care Survey, the 2023 monthly median cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home facility was $8,669. That number increased to $9,733 for a private room.

Common ways to pay for this type of care include:

  • Medicare (short-term basis in specific situations only)
  • Medicaid
  • Long-term care insurance
  • VA benefits
  • Personal savings and assets

Choosing the Right Senior Care Option at St. Andrew's

Quality of life is important to you and your aging loved one. It's important to us here at St. Andrew's, too. That is why we offer not just skilled nursing care and memory care, but also independent living, active living, and assisted living facilities as well as short-term rehabilitation services.

Contact St. Andrew's to learn more about skilled nursing vs memory care to determine what type of care best fits your family's unique situation.

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