Learn & Grow/Rehabilitation/Does Your Loved One Need Skilled Nursing or Rehabilitation Services?
Rehabilitation, Skilled Nursing

Does Your Loved One Need Skilled Nursing or Rehabilitation Services?

As we age, our medical needs can increase, so it becomes important to learn as much as we can about the types of health care services offered. There are times when a hospital stay is necessary, like during an acute illness, for a surgical procedure, or after a serious injury.

There are situations where a patient is ready to be released from the hospital, but still requires some degree of ongoing medical care. Two common destinations after a hospital stay are a rehabilitation center or a skilled nursing facility.

But how do you compare the differences between a skilled nursing facility vs. rehab? This blog post will highlight the differences in services offered in these two types of health centers, so you can be better informed about your choices, and determine what option meets the health care needs for your family member.

Nurse helping senior man with rehab exercises

Inpatient Rehabilitation

The purpose of inpatient rehabilitation is to prepare the patient to get back on their feet and return home. It may typically involve at least three hours of intensive therapy per day, at least five days a week, and can include physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Therapy sessions are guided by specialists who are trained to meet their rehabilitation needs and to incorporate specialized equipment and advanced technology to maximize the effectiveness of the therapy process.

A rehab center is considered a hospital, and patients are supervised by a physician, with acute care administered by nurses. Typically, there is one nurse for every six or seven patients. Patients also typically have access to psychologists, dietitians, other specialists, and in some cases a family member can participate and be educated on how to help the patient continue to rehabilitate at home.

It’s intended for patients to stay in inpatient rehab for a short period of time. The national average for time spent at an inpatient rehab hospital is 16 days.

Skilled Nursing Facility

If it’s determined that a patient requires more long-term care for their condition to improve, a skilled nursing facility (SNF) may be recommended after a hospital stay. The average length of stay at an SNF is 28 days.

Skilled nursing includes custodial care, which means patients can receive help getting out of bed, eating, bathing and using the bathroom. Physical, occupational and speech therapy are offered, but less time is devoted to it with skilled nursing vs. short-term rehab, and therapy sessions aren’t considered as intensive.

Nurse talking with skilled nursing resident

A skilled nursing facility is recommended by a doctor if the road to recovery needs to be gradual. Patients are more often cared for by certified nurse aides, and the nurse-to-patient ratio can average one nurse to every 20 to 30 patients.

SNF care is needed if the patient’s condition will improve, but they shouldn’t yet return home because they still require 24-hour monitoring, and professional medical treatment, such as intravenous injections, wound care, catheter use or treatment for infection.

How to Determine What Option Meets Your Needs

Near the end of a hospital stay, talk to your loved one’s doctor about next steps, both short-term and long-term. A medical professional will be able to talk to you about skilled nursing vs. short-term rehab if your loved one isn’t yet ready to go home.

The transition from a hospital to an intensive short stay at an inpatient rehabilitation center or a more gradual, longer stay at a skilled nursing facility must be prescribed by a doctor, and the services offered are usually eligible for coverage by private insurance or Medicare.

Skilled Nursing Vs. Short-Term Rehab at Harbour’s Edge

Senior rehabilitation and skilled nursing at Harbour’s Edge offer unsurpassed services in Delray Beach, Florida. A personal physician and dedicated care team create a customized care plan. The homelike environment and 5-Star care provide state-of-the-art technology, and here you also have access to all the amenities we have to offer, including events, activities, the arts and crafts studio, and game room.

To find out more about the benefits of skilled nursing and short-term rehab services offered at Harbour’s Edge, fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page.


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