What Types of Skilled Nursing Communities Are There?
Explore what Skilled Nursing is, how it works financially, and who qualifies for Skilled Nursing. Learn how Skilled Nursing can benefit you or your loved one.
When we talk about Skilled Nursing Communities, terms such as “Skilled Nursing,” “Nursing Homes” and “Assisted Living” almost always come up. These terms might seem interchangeable, but they each encompass something different and unique. We are going to take you through the different types of Skilled Nursing Communities so you can better understand the basics of Skilled Nursing, how it works financially, and who qualifies for Skilled Nursing.
Understanding the Basics of Skilled Nursing Care
Skilled Nursing is high-level, professional medical care. It is provided by (or takes place under the closely monitored supervision of) licensed and experienced health professionals, e.g., registered nurses (RNs), as well as physical, speech and occupational therapists.
These services can be provided over a relatively short period of time for patients rehabilitating from an illness or an injury—or they may be required over the long term for those who need closely monitored medical care due to a chronic condition.
If you or a loved one has had a stroke, surgery or requires extensive treatment for kidney, heart or respiratory conditions, Skilled Nursing Care is often the best option upon release from the hospital. If you’ve been advised to look for “short-term rehab” solutions, Skilled Nursing may be your answer.
What Are the Differences Between Skilling Nursing and Assisted Living Communities?
Skilled Nursing Communities offer short term rehab programs, and physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and monitoring of vital signs.
Here is a partial list of the services commonly available in a Skilled Nursing Community:
- Post-surgical care: Prompt assessment and treatment of postoperative complications, monitoring of vitals and IV line.
- Pulmonary rehab: Support and assistance for those with lung conditions.
- Catheter care: Cleaning and caring for indwelling urinary catheter.
- Pain management: Medication along with physical and psychological therapies to help patients cope with pain.
- Nutrition programs: Healthy and nourishing meals suited to patients’ individual needs.
- Wound care: Treatment and care of wounds to prevent infection.
- Diabetes care: Assistance managing blood glucose levels.
- Cardiac care: Specialized support for those with cardiac-related issues.
- Joint replacement care: Rehabilitation programs following joint replacement surgery.
- Fracture care: Care to ensure fractures remain stabilized and monitoring for signs of infection.
- CVA/Stroke care: Specialized therapies to restore mobility and speech, and to relearn daily tasks.
Assisted Living Communities provide different types of activities and services. You can learn more in our article What Services and Activities Do Assisted Living Communities Provide?
What is the Difference Between Skilled Nursing Care and a Nursing Home?
Many people use the terms interchangeably, but there are differences between Skilled Nursing Facilities and Nursing Homes. When you are part of a Nursing Home Community, you stay at a licensed healthcare residence for individuals who require a higher and more specialized level of medical care than you can receive at an Assisted Living Community. Registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are available on a 24-hour basis to provide medical care. Skilled Nursing Facilities provide many of the same services but are commonly used only for relatively short-term rehabilitative stays of 100 days or fewer.
What Types of Facilities Include Skilled Nursing Care?
Skilled Nursing Care at Home
Many seniors choose to age in place for as long as possible. With that in mind, many agencies offer skilled services provided by licensed nurses and therapists in the homes of clients. The Home Health Care option provides clients the opportunity to receive highly skilled and professional medical treatment while maintaining the independence of home living.
Skilled Nursing Care in Assisted Living Facilities
If you or a loved one requires assistance above and beyond what can be provided via Home Care, it might be time to seriously consider a move to an Assisted Living Facility. Care plans vary widely and are tailed to suit the particular needs of a patient—but in all cases, treatment is overseen and reviewed by RNs and LPNs.
Independent Living Communities
Independent Living Communities are also referred to as Continuing Care Retirement Communities, aka CCRC. These communities offer fully equipped homes or private apartments in a complex where Skilled Nursing is available.
Skilled Nursing for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be offered in a variety of settings. This may include in Memory Care Communities, Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Communities, Long-Term Alzheimer’s Care Facilities and in some cases, personal homes.
When we refer to Long-Term Care, it can be for seniors or for anyone of any age who is injured, sick or has diminished physical and/or mental capabilities. Skilled Nursing will be available, but usually within a Nursing Home Community. Depending on the individual’s needs, this could be a temporary but still long-term situation, or permanent. Either way, Skilled Nursing services are essential to making sure the patient receives all the care they need, whether it’s in an Independent Living Community, an Assisted Living Community, or a Nursing Home.
What are the Financial Considerations Involved with Skilled Nursing?
In most cases, Medicare will fully or partially pay for short-term Skilled Nursing Facility care after an event that signifies a patient requires it, (usually a 3-day hospital stay.) This is the case if a physician prescribes specialized therapies, whether that includes physical or occupational therapy, medications, medical equipment and supplies or social services.
A patient remains covered by Medicare for up to 100 days as long as they are making progress and participating. However, it is very unlikely that the full 100 days will be paid for by Medicare. Medicare usually pays for between 30 and 60 days, when many patients plateau. At this point, a patient may no longer need acute rehab and is encouraged to go home and receive outpatient therapy, or move to an Assisted Living Facility.
Bear in mind that Medicare will usually only cover the first 20 days in full, and days 21-100 at 80%.
Find Skilled Nursing Communities Near Your Location
Referah is here to assist you in your search for local Skilled Nursing Communities you can count on. Discover trusted Skilled Nursing Communities, as well as other Communities near you and talk with us to learn more.