The differences between a skilled nursing facility and a nursing home can cause a lot of confusion when you are trying to make the best choice for your loved one. Where will they get the best care when they need rehabilitation after a stroke? Once rehabilitated, what is the next step? If they have Alzheimer’s disease, what is the best permanent solution where they will feel at home, be treated with dignity, and receive the care they need?

Below we make the differences between these facilities clear and offer advice on the best options for your loved ones.

What Is Skilled Nursing?

The term ‘skilled nursing’ is responsible for much of the confusion about the two kinds of facilities that care for the elderly and other patients.

A high level of care, skilled nursing calls for additional training and credentials. Licensed healthcare professionals, such as licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), physical/occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists, must deliver skilled nursing care directly, or other healthcare providers who are not yet licensed must be supervised when they provide the elderly with care. 

Utilizing medical equipment for constant vital sign monitoring, catheter care, injections, intravenous (IV) therapy, wound care, and various therapies (speech, occupational, and physical) are a few examples of skilled nursing services.

It is useful to remember that the term ‘skilled nursing’ simply refers to the sort of services provided. As a result, both nursing homes and skilled nursing institutions offer skilled nursing. As part of home healthcare services, it can also be given to senior citizens in their homes.

A Skilled Nursing Facility

 An inpatient rehabilitation and medical treatment institution is known as a skilled nursing facility (SNF). After surgery, a serious illness, or an accident, they are frequently used to assist patients to recover the capacity to do the activities of daily living. This is a temporary stay for the patient who will return to their former living conditions after recovery. 

Treatment at an SNF is not always necessary. Some patients receive the same care in their private homes, provided they have someone at home who can assist them. For example, a physiotherapist can come to a person’s home to provide therapy to teach them to walk again. However, they will not see to their 24/7 care. If the patient does not have a family member or home carer to help with bathing etc., the person should be in an SNF where they will receive these services.

Your loved one will be reassured if you can find a skilled nursing facility near me that will enable you to visit often during their stay.

A Skilled Nursing Home

Nursing homes are residential facilities for elderly people who are not experiencing acute health issues but need assistance because of ongoing medical issues or limited mobility. They are facilities where the elderly can get the care they require to keep their health or have assistance with chronic conditions.

In contrast to a brief stay in a skilled nursing facility for recuperation and rehab, moving into a nursing home is often viewed as a more permanent transition. Nursing homes include nursing and custodial care. There is usually a schedule of events to foster community and encourage resident engagement. 

In summary, the key distinction is that a skilled nursing facility is a temporary home for patients receiving medically necessary rehabilitation treatment, whereas a nursing home is more of a permanent dwelling for those who require round-the-clock care.

By Manali