Discover the difference between skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes. Seniorly explains the similarities and differences between the two.
In the past, when speaking of senior care services and healthcare, chances are you thought of a “nursing home.” Since nursing homes were one of the only options for senior medical care, the term “nursing home care” was thrown around quite a bit. The senior care industry is filled with many terms that sound similar. Understanding the terminology used in this field will help you determine which skilled nursing care options are best for your aging parent or loved one.
Currently, there are many options for senior care, such as independent living, assisted living facilities, and skilled nursing facilities. Since “nursing home” became such a generic term, most seniors may have trouble understanding the different types of residential care for their care options and medical needs.
So, what is the difference between nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs)?
The main difference between the two is that a nursing home offers a permanent residence for people who need 24/7 care. An SNF is only a temporary residence for those that need rehabilitation. We will cover these both more in detail below.
A skilled nursing facility (SNF) is a short-term, rehabilitation-focused care facility. SNFs offer more comprehensive, rehabilitation-focused care than nursing homes. SNFs are typically used for people who need rehabilitation after a hospital stay, such as an injury or illness. They also have a higher staff-to-patient ratio, which allows for more individualized attention and care. In-house doctors and registered nurses (RNs) provide medical care such as medication management, blood tests, and pain management. This type of care can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other services to help patients until they are well enough to go home.
As well as rehabilitation services, SNFs can also include the following skilled nursing services:
A nursing home, on the other hand, is long-term care in a licensed facility that provides around-the-clock care and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing and dressing. They typically have a lower staff-to-patient ratio, resulting in less individualized attention and care. Skilled nursing staff can include RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).
Nursing homes can be used for people who need long-term care due to a chronic illness or disability. They can also be used for older people who are no longer able to live independently and need assistance with ADLs, such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
Along with the ADLs listed above, some other care services of a nursing home include:
The type of care facility that is right for you or your loved one depends on the level of care and assistance needed. If you or your loved one need short-term, rehabilitative care, then an SNF is the better option. If you or your loved one need long-term care and assistance with activities of daily living, then a nursing home is the better choice.
If you’re still not sure which type of facility is right for you or your loved one, talk to your doctor or a care coordinator. They can help you assess your or your loved one’s care needs and make a recommendation.
Let’s discuss the ways the two differ.
There are clear differences between nursing home care and skilled nursing facilities. Nursing home care provides around-the-clock assistance with ADLs, while a skilled nursing facility is typically visited after a hospital stay and serves as more of a rehabilitation.
You might hear others use the terms “nursing home” and “skilled nursing” interchangeably, but that doesn’t really match the public’s understanding of the term “nursing home.” Make sure you understand the differences while doing your research.
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