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What to Expect from Skilled Nursing

November 03, 2022

Healthy Aging Wellness
Group of senior people listening to young nurse.

Many Americans will need skilled nursing care at some point in their lives. Older adults, sick and disabled adults, and people with special medical needs often need to stay in a skilled nursing facility for a period of time. 

Some patients wonder what to expect when going to a skilled nursing setting. However, this usually depends on the person’s medical needs and health goals. Each person has different care needs and may stay at a skilled nursing facility for varying lengths of time. In this setting, patients have access to therapies and services to help them focus on their recovery.

While staying at a skilled nursing facility, patients are assessed and cared for by physicians. Every patient has nurses available to provide skilled nursing care around the clock. However, skilled nursing involves more than providing medical care. 

“In addition to medical care, skilled nursing facilities offer a wide array of services to help patients regain their health,” says Kevin Wolf, D.O., Warwick Forest Medical Director.

There are three main types of care provided to residents in a skilled nursing facility:

  • Medical Care

    Many seniors need medical care around the clock, and skilled nursing staff can provide this level of care. Trained and licensed nurses, nurses’ assistants, and physicians are on staff to provide care for people in a skilled nursing setting.

  • Personal Care 

    In addition to medical care, people in skilled nursing communities often need assistance with personal care. This often includes activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, and dressing.
     
  • Rehabilitative Care

    Some older adults move to a skilled nursing facility after a surgery, illness, or injury. While receiving skilled nursing care, some patients stay for a shorter time to receive rehabilitation services. In this setting, their condition is monitored, and they receive rehabilitative therapy until they are well enough to go home.

Which Types of Therapies and Services are Available?

  • Nutritional services, which help patients maintain a healthy diet 
  • Diabetic care, for people who have diabetes
  • Physical therapy, which helps restore strength, stability, and movement
  • Occupational therapy, which helps patients regain their ability to perform their daily tasks  
  • Speech therapy, which helps people manage speaking or swallowing issues
  • Cognitive rehabilitation, which helps patients with memory and reasoning skills
  • Respiratory therapy, which helps people manage breathing difficulties
  • IV therapy, for patients who need intravenous medications or treatments
In addition to medical care and rehabilitative treatment, many skilled nursing facilities offer opportunities for socializing with other residents. Social interaction helps support patients’ emotional and mental health. Other amenities available in skilled nursing facilities may also include:
  • A common area for games and socializing
  • Laundry services
  • Art and hobby room
  • Library
  • Chapel for spiritual services
  • Beauty salon or barber shop

These amenities allow patients to address their emotional and spiritual needs, while providing a more holistic experience as they receive medical care. 

Talk with your physician to find out if skilled nursing care is right for you. Visit Riverside Health System online to learn more about how skilled nursing care can help you or a loved one.

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