What’s the Difference Between a Nursing Home and a Skilled Nursing Facility in Arizona?
When a loved one needs medical care, it can be challenging to determine what type of care best suits their needs. Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities are both options that can provide patients with different levels of medical care. While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are significant differences in the type of care each facility offers. We will explore the differences between the two so that you can make an informed choice for your loved one. We’ll also examine what Santé offers at our skilled nursing facilities in Arizona.
What is a Nursing Home?
A nursing home can provide care to seniors with issues impacting their ability to live independently. They have a condition that requires frequent specialized medical care that can not be provided at home. This can include:
- Time-sensitive medication management
- 24-hour monitoring
- Help with feeding and mobility
- Aid with incontinence and transfers
When patients are moved to a nursing home, it is usually a permanent placement. Besides offering necessary medical care, nursing homes provide residents with activities to keep them busy and social.
What is a Skilled Nursing Facility?
A skilled nursing facility is a temporary arrangement that provides patients with the highest level of care outside of a hospital stay. Registered nurses and other licensed professionals provide the necessary care under a doctor’s supervision.
People who receive care at a skilled nursing facility are typically recovering from an illness or injury. This includes a wide variety of conditions, such as:
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Infectious Diseases
- Cardiac Conditions
- Pulmonary Issues
- Neurological Conditions
- Renal Diseases
- Wound Care
Since skilled nursing care can benefit so many different types of patients, those eligible for this type of care typically include patients who require ongoing care after an injury, as well as those who are recovering from a stroke or surgery. Patients needing intensive wound care and physical, occupational, and speech therapy can also benefit from skilled nursing care in Arizona.
Nursing homes are often less equipped to deal with patients who are recovering from an acute illness or need to restore function that was lost after a hospital stay. The services skilled nursing facilities can offer patients typically will not be available in a nursing home. Patients placed in a skilled nursing facility are not dealing with chronic conditions and can typically recover to return to their everyday lives, although adjustments may be needed.
Types of Care a Skilled Nursing Facility Can Offer
The highly skilled clinical and therapy care that a skilled nursing facility provides can include:
- Physical Therapy
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
- IV therapy
- Monitoring vital signs & other medical equipment
- Pulmonary rehab
A doctor will determine a patient’s needs and what care a skilled nursing facility should provide. Besides professional medical care, a skilled nursing facility can provide mobility assistance, housekeeping, meals, and social events for those who can attend.
It’s important to remember that a short-term nursing facility provides medical specialists dedicated to different forms of rehabilitation, while a nursing home focuses on long-term care.
Cost of a Skilled Nursing Facility vs. Nursing Home
The cost is another difference between a skilled nursing facility and a nursing home. A stay at a skilled nursing facility is typically much shorter than that of a nursing home. Medicare Part A will pay for a stay at a skilled nursing facility if specific criteria are met.  This includes a doctor’s recommendation as well as a qualifying hospital stay.
The cost of a stay at a skilled nursing facility is typically far less than that of a nursing home. Since nursing homes provide a permanent residence, the price will be greater. Medicaid, health insurance, and other financial assistance programs will typically help with the cost. Patients can receive skilled nursing care if they reside at a nursing home, but this care will be temporary.
Medicare will not cover nursing home care if it is custodial care,  which is usually the case. Nursing home care is typically considered custodial care because it helps with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing.
Benefits of Receiving Skilled Nursing Care
There are several benefits of receiving skilled nursing care. This includes:
- Personalized treatment & assessment
- Reduced caregiver burnout
- Lower risk of hospital admission
- Recovering in a safe environment
- Access to around-the-clock care
Patients at a skilled nursing facility will receive a variety of therapies and treatments from licensed professionals to regain their abilities and restore their quality of life.
Are You Looking for a Skilled Nursing Facility in Arizona? Let Santé Help
Santé is a skilled nursing facility in Arizona with four convenient locations in Chandler, Mesa, North Scottsdale, and Surprise. Our team provides various care for patients depending on their individual needs. Some of our team’s medical services include occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy.
Our facilities provide private suites with kitchenettes, world-class exercise equipment, and therapy sessions to help patients reach their recovery goals. Patients can also take advantage of nutritious meals in a restaurant-style dining atmosphere with an onsite bistro for snacks.
If your loved one needs a skilled nursing facility in Arizona, contact Santé today. Call us today to tour one of our facilities and learn more about how our services can help your loved one.
Dan is Vice President, Marketing of the Alumus family of companies. A Seattle native, he earned his BA in Humanities and Political Science at Evergreen State College. He started his career as a newspaper columnist, eventually transitioning into marketing and tech writing for Microsoft and several other startups. He later launched a successful creative agency focused on branding, digital marketing, and content production in Los Angeles, where he worked for several nursing and behavioral health clients, eventually becoming the National Marketing Director for one of them.
He has taught Vipassana mindfulness meditation and MBSR and spends whatever free time he has with his son snowboarding, hiking, and camping in the mountains.