Recognizing When Residents May Require Skilled Care vs. Nursing Home Support
When a family is seeking support and viable care options for an elderly loved one, the first step to choosing the right place may be attempting to understand the types of support the long-term care industry offers. Skilled nursing facility (SNF) and a nursing home are terms widely used to describe a residential facility that provides on-site 24-hour care, but the type of care and support may differ depending on staff, managed medical standards, and a confusing overlap of services. In fact, some nursing homes may offer skilled nursing care in a particular wing of the facility but not to every resident, including your loved one. In addition, nursing homes and SNFs may be regulated and certified differently at each facility and the level of staff certification may vary leaving questionable concerns for those in charge of placing a loved one into the hands of a long-term care facility of any type.
Skilled Nursing Facilities Provide Additional Services and Medical Staff
The same services SNFs offer may be found in hospitals, assisted living communities, retirement residences, and other certified locations. The major perk for some families who have elderly in need of around-the-clock rehab or care is that staff such as registered nurses and doctors are often more readily available and onsite. A much wider range of services and available medical options can quickly be executed and if an emergency were to occur, these facilities are typically located within the close range of a hospital. SNFs are also much more likely to provide onsite services such as:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech-language pathology
- Diet and nutritional guidance
SNF staff are also professionally trained and can do things like administer medications while non-medical personnel, who are often the lead caretakers at nursing homes, cannot.
Nursing Homes Often Understaffed
Some elderly may not require treatment for serious medical conditions and instead need help with activities of daily living. Since nursing homes can serve as a permanent residence for some individuals, many nursing home services assist with bathing, dressing, toileting, preparing foods, and offer socialization and community environments. Nursing homes are likely to be staffed with certified professional health care workers though so medical staff may not always be present and more serious health complications could be ignored or not addressed. Illinois nursing homes are not unlike other states and routinely understaffed.
Elder Abuse and Neglect Can Happen Anywhere
It can be difficult to understand the exact benefits and requirements to choose the best care option for your loved one, and most times payment and insurance will cloud any clear direction in choosing appropriate care. But wherever a patient ends up, abuse and neglect of an already vulnerable group of people can happen within skilled nursing services or while residing in a nursing home. The likelihood is much higher for abuse and neglect to occur though when a patient is placed in a home that cannot support a path to safe caretaking or rehabilitation. It’s always best to do the research necessary and understand a facility’s history in following regulations in relation to care, staffing, and support and have a discussion with the person who enforces these needs prior to choosing the right home for your family member.
If You Suspect Abuse or Neglect, Talk with a Lawyer Today
At Levin & Perconti, we recognize the need to hold people who ultimately violate the law, rules, or regulations regarding the care and treatment of patients or residents in their charge. We frequently have families contacting our attorneys to share concerns.
Consultations with our attorneys are both free and confidential. Please call us at (312) 332-2872 or complete our free online consultation request form.