Skilled Nursing Facility vs Long Term Care Facility

Long Term Care Facility vs Skilled Nursing Facility – What’s The Difference?

Sierra Care | February 25, 2021


Long Term Care Facility vs Skilled Nursing Facility

Skilled Nursing Facilities and Long Term Care Facilities are two of the main options for patients recovering from a serious injury or operation. Both provide personalized treatment for patients but vary in specialties and complexity of medical care. It’s essential to understand the differences between skilled nursing and long-term care to determine which health facility is best suited to your needs.

Understanding Skilled Nursing

Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) provide skilled care to patients recovering from surgery or illness. These rehabilitative facilities typically function as short-term care, with the average stay lasting between 20 – 38 days.1 This time could be longer or shorter depending on when you feel ready.

Purpose of Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skilled nursing aims to help patients transition from staying in a hospital to a more permanent independent residence. As the name implies, they provide skilled rehabilitation and care while also performing any necessary medical procedures. Skilled Nursing Facilities are best for patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses such as:

The right care center will provide skilled medical treatments while working with the patient to support their rehabilitation. A Skilled Nursing Facility is a good fit for anyone who needs medical care and support before returning to independent living.

Complexity of Medical Care in Skilled Nursing

Skilled Nursing Facilities provide licensed medical staff to manage medical issues while also evaluating individual treatment plans. Here, patients receive a level of care that professionals can safely and effectively perform. The majority of procedures are completed by registered nurses and rehabilitation therapists, although physicians are available as needed.

Skilled nursing includes medically complex treatments such as wound care, insertion of feeding tubes, injected medicines, and vitals monitoring. In addition, SNFs provide rehabilitation therapists for patients. Recovery programs include physical, cognitive, speech, pulmonary, and psychological therapies to offer comprehensive care and support levels.

Understanding Long Term Care

Long Term Care Facilities provide hands-on care and monitoring around the clock. They are a crucial form of assistance, as 70% of people who live to 65 need some form of long term care in their lifetime.2 Patients in these facilities receive ongoing help to best support them in their day-to-day life.

Purpose of Long Term Care Facilities

The purpose of long-term care is to provide caregiver assistance 24/7 for patients. Long Term Care Facilities are well-suited for patients with neurological conditions, cognitive disorders, and chronic conditions limiting mobility. This level of care provides a high quality of life while allowing individuals to maintain independence.

Complexity of Medical Care in Long Term Care

Long Term Care Facilities do not typically provide specialized medical care and are staffed with professional nurses, aides, and therapists. Physicians are available as needed from a nearby facility for any complex medical procedures. The staff provides clinical care and activities to help patients maintain their current level of functioning.

Long term care provides more permanent custodial care than skilled nursing. This includes getting dressed, using the bathroom, taking medication, and helping with other daily needs. This level of care is best suited for patients who need continuing support and monitoring around the clock.

How To Choose the Right Health Facility To Support You?

After understanding the difference between skilled nursing and long-term care, the next step is to choose the correct facility. 35% of people will stay in a health facility at some point in their lives, so it is crucial to find one that is best for you or your loved one.3 How do you determine which is right for you? As discussed earlier, Skilled Nursing Facilities provide more complex medical care and rehabilitation while Long Term Care Facilities offer more permanent support for day-to-day needs. In some instances, both types of institutions are combined to provide the most comprehensive level of care. This allows patients to receive more in-depth medical assistance while remaining on a long-term basis.

This is the case at Sierra Care, which is one step up from a Skilled Nursing Facility, and works with patients dealing with medically complex injuries. As a congregate living health facility, we offer a subacute level of care to ensure that your loved one receives the personalized treatment that’s right for them. At Sierra Care, we are committed to providing critical day-to-day care and a supportive environment for optimal recovery. Our team of medical experts and skilled nurses are well-qualified to offer a wide range of services, from inpatient rehabilitation programs to long-term care. Sierra Care combines the best aspects of skilled nursing and long-term care to provide a comprehensive, industry-leading level of care for our patients.