As a senior you may have heard of a Skilled Nursing Facility, also sometimes referred to as a SNF (pronounced like “sniff”). Here at Stellar Senior Living we call them Skilled Nursing Communities, because our focus is on making sure each location is truly like a family and community, one dedicated to supporting your care needs. But what does that mean? What exactly is a skilled nursing community, and how is it different from assisted living or a “nursing home”? Let’s find out!
Senior Living Levels of Care
A skilled nursing community is a different level of care than you might receive in an assisted living community. Most senior living options fall under 4 different levels of care: independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. You can learn more about which level of care is right for you in this post.
Basically, in an independent living community, you have your own apartment and as much independence as you’d like. Unlike a non senior living apartment, though, you have access to help from staff, as well as 24/7 emergency assistance. You’re also in a community of people in your same stage of life, and lots of amenities that are unique to senior living.
Assisted living communities offer a little more care than independent living. You still have your own space and all the amenities, but you can also have daily help with any mobility challenges, bathing, dressing, and anything else you need.
Memory care communities are especially designed for people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and memory loss disorders. You have your own apartment in these communities, but staff provide extra help with things like safety and remembering medications. Memory Care apartments tend to be smaller and more compact to help eliminate disorientation. Memory care communities also offer specialized activities and therapies available to help combat or improve memory loss.
How is Skilled Nursing different?
Skilled nursing communities are different because of the level of care offered. These communities provide the most care you can receive outside of a hospital. With skilled nursing, trained staff can be present with you or your senior most of the time, or even at all times. They provide around-the-clock care. This care is provided by licensed nurses and coordinated with your doctor.
Most people in skilled nursing communities are medically stable, but can’t or don’t want to receive care at home. They usually need special services like tube feeding, IV therapies, administration of medications, wound care, physical therapy, speech therapy, or other types of more intensive help. Skilled nursing is often recommended after a hospital stay or serious injury. People who have recently had a stroke, surgery, heart attack, or are no longer mobile often require more advanced nursing care.
What about “nursing homes”?
“Nursing home” is not an official term. When people talk about “nursing homes,” they could be referring to memory care, assisted living, or skilled nursing communities. Sometimes, this simply means the physical building where the care is taking place. While people do sometimes use the term “nursing home” to mean a skilled nursing community, this phrase has historically had negative implications for many people. We work hard here at Stellar to provide current education on the wonderful and varied options available for seniors and their loved ones today.