Skilled Nursing

What is Skilled Nursing?

Skilled Nursing facilities feature professional nursing care provided by trained and licensed nurses in a healthcare setting, such as a nursing home or rehabilitation center. This care is typically provided to patients requiring advanced medical care and monitoring yet not requiring hospitalization. Skilled Nursing residents may include those recovering from surgery or with complex medical conditions needing more care than a home caregiver can provide.

Skilled nursing care is provided by registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs), and other medical professionals trained to provide specialized care and interventions to patients with complex medical needs.

A skilled nurse provides care to an elderly woman at a table in a senior facility.

Their services typically include the following medical assistance:

  • Administering medications.
  • Monitoring vital signs.
  • Providing wound care.
  • Managing complex medical equipment.
  • Conducting diagnostic tests.

Many facilities also offer physical, occupational, and speech therapy to help patients regain independence, strength, and mobility while recovering from injuries or illnesses.

In addition to medical care, skilled nursing also includes supportive care and assistance with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, and eating.

Benefits of living in a Skilled Nursing facility

  • 24-hour medical care:

    Trained and licensed nurses are typically available 24/7 to provide medical care, monitoring, and assistance with medication management.

  • Rehabilitation services:

    Rehabilitation services – including physical, occupational, and speech therapy – are available to help residents recovering from injury, surgery, or serious medical conditions.

  • Nutritious meals:

    Skilled nursing facilities provide nutritious meals and snacks, considering the special dietary needs of each resident, many of whom have specific requirements based on medical conditions.

  • Assistance with daily activities:

    As with other types of assisted living, Skilled Nursing facilities provide assistance with daily living activities, including bathing, dressing, and grooming.

  • Safety and security:

    These facilities are specifically designed to provide a safe and secure environment for residents, including features such as emergency call systems, handrails, and grab bars.

  • Peace of mind for family members:

    Family members who worry about their loved ones receiving high-quality medical care and support can have peace of mind, knowing that loved ones are in an environment of high-quality medical care and support.

Skilled Nursing FAQs

What’s the difference between Skilled Nursing and other senior housing options?

While many assume Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities (or Nursing Homes) are similar, there are significant differences. Assisted Living residents are relatively independent, even while needing assistance with daily living tasks. Skilled Nursing residents often need around-the-clock medical care, rehabilitation therapy, and ongoing help with most daily living activities. The care provided in a Skilled Nursing facility is delivered by trained nursing professionals (RNs, LPNs, and CNAs). In contrast, staff members in Assisted Living are not required to have that level of medical training.

While Skilled Nursing and Memory Care facilities share many features, there’s one significant difference: Memory Care facilities focus specifically on those with memory loss or conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia. For seniors experiencing memory loss, special care is required to handle symptoms such as behavior changes and to preserve cognitive skills as long as possible. In addition, Memory Care patients generally require more security to prevent them from wandering off, which may include more controlled forms of entry/exit access. Staff members are specifically trained on these details, and residents often get more one-on-one time with staff. Skilled Nursing residents are also dealing with major medical conditions or situations requiring the attention of medical professionals.

How do I know if Skilled Nursing is the right choice for my loved one?

When considering whether it’s time for your family member to move into Skilled Nursing, take into account the following criteria:

  • Do they need 24-hour care?
  • Do they need medical monitoring or supervision throughout the day?
  • Do they need skilled nursing care or rehabilitation services after surgery or a hospital stay?
  • Are they at high risk for injury or safety concerns (such as falls) and need more guidance and supervision?
  • Do they need help with daily living activities, such as personal hygiene and dressing?
  • Do they need significant help with mobility or transfers, such as from bed to chair?

With so many questions and factors to consider, connect with one of our Senior Living Advisors, who can help you evaluate the best options to meet your needs. Our team is ready to help you assess Skilled Nursing and other options to ensure you find the right solution for your situation.

Let’s discuss how we can help.