Years ago, people who were hospitalized were typically only discharged after they fully recovered, but policies and practices have changed. Now, while some hospital patients go directly home to recuperate, others require a more involved recovery program. In these cases, patients are transferred to skilled nursing facilities.
In addition to providing follow-up care for patients leaving the hospital, skilled nursing facilities also provide long-term care for patients with ongoing medical conditions that require round-the-clock care. This is where some confusion arises about skilled nursing facilities particularly in comparison to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. To help set the record straight, here are some facts about skilled nursing facilities:
What is skilled nursing care?
Skilled nursing care is a high level of medical care provided by trained professionals, including doctors, registered nurses, and physical, speech, and occupational therapists. These services are available for short-term rehabilitation from an illness or injury, or long-term for patients who need frequent medical and custodial care. Skilled nursing care addresses:
- General wound care: cleaning wounds and administering antibiotics for infection
- Acute medical conditions: medical care for illnesses, infections, or injuries that threatens the patient’s health
- General rehabilitation: speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy and other services to help patients recover after an extended illness or operation
- Custodial care: helping patients with needs like bathing, dressing and eating.
- Stroke recovery: rehabilitation therapy to help patients regain motor skills and speech functions
- Parkinson’s disease care: specific care required for advanced Parkinson’s cases
- Terminal illness care: services for people living with terminal illness and requiring custodial care and medical care
Who needs skilled nursing care?
Patients might need short-term skilled nursing care if they don’t have enough help at home to recover after hospitalization, or if they have surgical wounds that require frequent attention. Short-term skilled nursing care is also ideal for patients who need physical, occupational, or speech therapy following surgery or an illness. Long-term skilled nursing care is needed when residents have chronic medical conditions that need constant monitoring and treatment.
What is the difference between skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes?
Nursing homes are long-term care facilities for people, usually senior citizens, who need round-the-clock supervision, but the care provided is more custodial in nature than medical. Some of the daily activities or services provided include helping patients in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, eating, and minor medical care such as help with medications. Their range of care is limited.
Skilled nursing facilities provide care by medical doctors, registered nurses, and licensed therapists. They also offer pharmaceutical, laboratory, and radiology services. Skilled nursing facilities provide a full spectrum of services for those in need of both short- and long-term care.
What is the difference between skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities?
Assisted living facilities usually have a nurse or other medical professional on staff, but the facilities are geared toward senior citizens who are able to maintain independence and care for themselves, with limited medical assistance.
Skilled nursing facilities, on the other hand, are equipped to provide services for those who maintain a high level of independence as well as those who need a higher level of care. Skilled nursing facilities also provide both short- and long-term medical care for patients recovering from injuries or illnesses, whereas assisted living facilities focus mainly on assistance with daily activities.
What amenities are offered at skilled nursing facilities?
One common myth about skilled nursing facilities is that they provide medical care and little else in the way of amenities. But this is just not true. Many skilled nursing facilities operate with the clear understanding that recovery works best when short- and long-term care serves the mind, body and spirit. At Bella Vista Health Center, we offer a variety of fun activities such as live music and group outings, plus yoga and meditation, salon services, and free concierge service for our residents. We also help residents with social services, dental and vision services, and discharge planning if needed.
Let us care for you
If you are seeking a skilled nursing facility in San Diego, you’ve come to the right place. At Bella Vista Health Center, we’re dedicated to creating a warm, welcome environment in our newly remodeled 5-star facility where all our patients feel comfortable and cared for. Our recovery programs are customized to each individual patient, and we do everything we can to ensure the highest possible quality of life for everyone who comes through our doors. To learn more about our services or schedule a tour, call us today at (619) 644-1000 or fill out our form fill.