Skilled Care vs. Long-Term Care

Young home nurse laughing, holding hand of older woman.

It can be challenging to determine which type of care is right for you or your loved one. The decision primarily depends on the reason care is needed. Is the senior transitioning back to their home or assisted living facility after an accident or illness, or do they require constant care due to a chronic condition or progressive ailment?

Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing implies high-level, short-term care provided by a licensed medical professional like a registered nurse or therapist. This type of care is typically administered in rehabilitative facilities, also called skilled nursing facilities, where patients can be monitored 24/7—such as hospitals and nursing homes. These facilities transition patients back to their permanent residence after a stroke, illness, serious fall, or major surgery.

There is a wide variety of services a skilled nursing caregiver can provide depending on the senior’s needs, including:

  • Occupational, speech, and physical therapies
  • Wound care
  • Injections
  • IV care
  • Personal care
  • Vital sign monitoring
  • Medication management

Long-Term Care

On the other hand, when a senior needs assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), a long-term caregiver is typically the right choice. Long-term caregivers can be home health aides or work at an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. These care providers are typically the best choice for people with terminal or progressive illnesses, chronic conditions, or cognitive impairments.

Unlike skilled nursing care, the goal of long-term care isn’t to rehabilitate—it’s to assist with daily tasks to improve the person’s quality of life and quality of care. This assistance may include things like:

  • Medication administration
  • Medical treatments
  • Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Help with personal cares
  • Activities

Are you struggling to choose between skilled nursing care and long-term care? It’s essential to make the right decision to ensure you or your loved one is getting the right kind of assistance. To learn more about your options for both skilled nursing care and long-term care in Central Minnesota, contact the Good Shepherd Community.

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