The Differences Between Inpatient Rehab and Skilled Nursingadmin
Nursing homes serve all kinds of healthcare purposes, including rehabilitation. Often people need to have short-term stays in nursing facilities after hospitalizations or for rehabilitative purposes, especially after a stroke or other injury.
If you or a loved one needs nursing home care for rehabilitation, you most likely will be told by your healthcare provider, hospital discharge planner, or assisted living staff member. It is likely that you will choose between an inpatient rehabilitation facility or a skilled nursing facility. Both of these facilities help patients to regain their health, but in different ways.
What is the difference between inpatient rehabilitation and skilled nursing? Which option is right for you or a loved one? Researching your options is an important first step.
What is Inpatient Rehabilitation
Inpatient rehabilitation is a program that helps patients recover after a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, or any other event that has affected their ability to live as before. Inpatient rehabilitation employs therapy, education, treatment nursing, and medical treatment to help you develop the skills patients need to get back on their feet.
Inpatient rehabilitation involves staying in a specialized hospital unit. The length of stay is based on your individual needs, ability to participate in therapy, and progress. Admission to inpatient rehabilitation is based on specific guidelines, including the illness or injury specified and how it has affected the patient’s ability to function.
The focus of the inpatient rehabilitation is to prepare the patient to return home. A period of intensive therapy, at least 3 hours a day, is typically utilized to help regain the ability to function normally.
What is Skilled Nursing
Skilled nursing facilities provide care and assistance to patients suffering from diseases and injuries. They offer a variety of services including therapy and long-term care. A skilled nursing facility (SNF) is required when there is a need for more advanced nursing services, such as intravenous injections or physical therapy.
Patients are typically referred to a skilled nursing facility because the physician believes their medical condition needs to be improved.
A significant component of a skilled nursing facility is the use of custodial care. Custodial care is helping a patient out of bed, assisting with eating or bathing, and emptying bladder containers, for example.
The majority of caregivers at nursing homes are certified nursing assistants (CNAs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Skilled nursing facilities also staff registered nurses (RNs) along with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and other specialists.
The Benefits of Skilled Nursing
Nursing staff are available to assist you 24 hours per day. They are monitoring you closely to ensure your medical needs are met and watching out for any red flags. They also stay in communication with the rest of your healthcare team. It is likely that you will see your physician and nurse practitioner much more often than in another type of care setting.
Regular exercise, even if it’s begun at a very advanced age, has been shown to help stave off heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other serious diseases. It also helps to maintain brain health and function. Additionally, exercise has been shown to maintain bone density, and even improve it!
Exercise also offers an opportunity for socializing and decreases the likelihood of the onset of age-related depression and anxiety. SNFs provide many opportunities for seniors to stay active. This is essential to remaining in good health.
Social and Spiritual Health
Socialization is as important to maintaining health and a good quality of life in advanced years as are diet and exercise. The feelings of loneliness and isolation are the culprits, it seems, that rob a senior of feeling well; not the physical act of living alone. SNF residents are provided with many opportunities to make friends and go on social outings. Residents also have access to regular worship services.
Diet and Nutrition
If you live alone, have limited interaction with others, have to fend for yourself, and do all your own food shopping and prepare all your own meals, it may be easy to skip meals or eat less than you need. If you’re on medications that affect your sense of taste or appetite, or if you have any physical limitations that make it tough for you to move around, your food intake and physical activity may decrease. All meals are provided at an SNF and you are able to speak with a dietitian if you need to change your diet in any way.
It’s never too early to research your choices in nursing care and be prepared for the next step. If you think a skilled nursing facility might be right for you or a loved one, Generations Healthcare can help you make the right choice.