A skilled nursing facility or home is normally the highest level of care for older adults outside of a hospital. Skilled nursing facilities provide what is called custodial care, including getting in and out of bed, and providing assistance with feeding, bathing, and dressing.
However, a skilled nursing facility differs from other senior housing facilities in that they also provide a high level of medical care. A licensed physician supervises each patient’s care and a nurse or other medical professional are always on the premises. Skilled nursing facility care is available on site, usually 24 hours a day. Other medical professionals, such as occupational, speech, or physical therapists, are also available. This allows the delivery of medical procedures and therapies on site that would not be possible in other senior housing.
The label “nursing home” has negative connotations for many people. Yet nursing homes provide an important component of senior housing options. It’s important to separate nursing home myths from facts.