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What to Consider Before and After a Skilled Nursing Stay

The move to a skilled nursing facility is often more than what families expect. Seniorly explains what you need to consider when contemplating a skilled nursing stay.

By Grace Matelich · Updated Jan 25, 2023
Reviewed by Nipun Chopra · Reviewed Dec 5, 2022
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What to Consider Before and After a Skilled Nursing Stay


A skilled nursing facility (SNF) is an inpatient rehabilitation center focused on providing short-term treatment for older adults; this care is typically treatment after an emergency visit or for post-surgery supervision. The type of Medicare plan someone has can impact their length of stay, but residents typically receive care for around 3 weeks in skilled nursing facilities. Due to the high level of care provided by SNFs, licensed health professionals, such as, but not limited to, registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), and physical/occupational therapists, typically manage the care of SNF patients. 

Many families and older adults assume that they will be able to seamlessly return to their home environment and resume their daily routine after a stay in a SNF. While in some cases this is certainly possible, for others, a SNF stay may indicate that you or your loved one may be beginning to require additional support and care in everyday life. If this is the case, it might be time to start the conversation with your family and loved one about making the move to assisted living. “Senior living can provide many benefits to a person who is dependent on care, from taking care of the daily chores of life to providing quality care and health services onsite,” says Kim Elliot, chief nursing officer at Brookdale Senior Living in Brentwood, Tennessee.”  

But if you're feeling unsure about how to approach the conversation with a family member or loved one, you're not alone. In fact, Seniorly gerontologists have created a guide for How to Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living.  Studies show that the level of support offered by assisted living facilities can greatly reduce stress for the resident and family, as well as improve the health and quality of life of the resident through daily assistance, the opportunity for social engagement, and recreation.

Take a look at the chart below to compare the difference between care types and start learning more about your options. 


 For help navigating SNF payment through Medicare, see here. If you’d like to speak with one of our advisors about exploring assisted living options for after a SNF stay, click here.

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written by:
Grace Matelich

Grace Matelich

Grace Kay Matelich is a trained Gerontologist who earned her Master of Science degree in Gerontology from the University of Southern California, a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and a Certificate in Nutrition Science from Stanford University. Grace developed interest in the longevity sciences through her own complex health journey, and is passionate about the science of aging, the mind-body connection, illness prevention, and lifestyle interventions for age-related illnesses.

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View other articles written by Grace

Reviewed by:
Nipun Chopra

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