• Karen McPhail, RN, MSN

When is Skilled Nursing Really Needed? What are the Options for Care Support?


The term nursing home is often thrown around as a catch all for older adults requiring care support outside of the home. Many people will contact us saying my mom needs nursing home placement - but does she? Most individuals with good, prudent planning do not need to be placed in a nursing home as their care can be supported in a less costly and more effective manner in assisted living. Assisted living is much different in terms of care and quality from a skilled nursing home. So today in our blog we want to clarify and touch on some of the care support differences outside of the home.


A Skilled nursing home refers to patient's need for care or treatment that can only be done by licensed nurses. Skilled nursing facilities, again often referred to as nursing homes, are residential facilities where patients can receive skilled nursing services 24 hours a day. Examples of skilled nursing needs include more complex wound care and dressings, short term rehabilitation, tube feedings or health conditions that require continuous and specialized monitoring due to frequent or rapid changes.


Supporting aspects of daily living is not skilled care support and can be done in many cases from a cost and quality standpoint effectively in assisted living. Assisted living services include support for medication administration and management and aspects of daily living, which include assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, incontinence care, housekeeping, nutrition support, meals, laundry , transportation services, socialization support programs, and activities. Assisted living has a wellness focus to allow individuals to have enhanced quality of life and live based on their expressed wishes in a less clinical and engaging environment to support their holistic needs long term. Memory care is specialized assited living for those with significant cogntive impairment and dementia. However, not all individuals with cognitive impairment and dementia require a memory care environment. Special situations such as challenging behaviors that require frequent intervention, redirection, and psychiatric medication support and abatement and safety challenges are some reasons warranting specialized care in a memory care setting.


If you are considering options for care support outside of the home reach out today so that one of our clinical team members can provide guidance and help you or your family to understand and receive the best fit for next steps for holistic care support.





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