Skilled Nursing Facility vs Nursing Home: Exploring the Difference

By admin / March 26, 2021

Finding the right care facility for your aging loved one can be stressful and overwhelming. Especially when navigating the differences between each option.

Skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes are both potential options for an elderly individual with health problems. And on the surface, both places seem similar – around-the-clock care and a safe environment.

But there are important differences between a skilled nursing facility vs nursing home that you should know.

Keep reading to find out which one is right for you and your loved one.

What is a Skilled Nursing Facility?

A skilled nursing facility offers short-term care for individuals with acute health problems. If an elderly person has a bad fall or is in an accident they might visit a skilled nursing facility while they recover.

Skilled nursing facilities are meant to be transitional. When a person is well enough, they return home.

In a skilled nursing facility, you will find licensed healthcare workers including doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. The facility is named for the skilled professionals that work there. When choosing a nursing home you want to check the credentials of the staff that will be helping to take care of your loved one.

What is a Nursing Home?

A nursing home provides long-term care for the elderly. At a nursing home, the residents usually need assistance with activities of daily living – bathing, dressing, and eating.

Long-term care in a nursing home is ideal for older adults that need constant supervision because of a physical or mental illness. People with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or severe physical impairment have special needs that they cannot get elsewhere.

Nursing homes hire licensed nurses and nurse aides to care for residents. Nursing home employees help with custodial care including managing medication regimens.

Skilled Nursing Facility vs Nursing Home

A skilled nursing facility is a short-term care option while a nursing home is a long-term care option. If a person is not able to live independently, a nursing home has the proper environment and staff to help them with daily activities. Skilled nursing facilities offer medical treatment and assistance while an elderly person is recovering from an illness or injury.

When choosing between senior care facilities you might also consider whether the cost is covered by insurance. Typically, Medicare or Medicaid will cover the cost of long-term care at a nursing home. But they may not cover all the costs of a skilled nursing facility stay. Research health coverage options to make sure you have a sufficient budget for the type of care your loved one needs.

Choosing Between Skilled Nursing Facility and Nursing Home

What type of care does your elderly loved one need – short-term or long-term? Will they be able to recover from their illness or injury and live independently? These are the questions you should ask when comparing a skilled nursing facility vs nursing home.

Most senior care facilities will let you take a tour and ask questions about the staff. Take this opportunity to decide whether the facility can offer the level of care your loved one needs. Ask yourself whether they will be happy, comfortable, and safe in that environment – if so, you’ve found the right place!

Find additional family and lifestyle advice in our other blogs!

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