What Is the Difference Between Skilled Nursing & Short-Term Rehab?

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What Is the Difference Between Skilled Nursing & Short-Term Rehab?


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What Is the Difference Between Skilled Nursing & Short-Term Rehab?

Are you weighing the benefits of a continuing care retirement community for yourself or a loved one? There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to care. Addressing the wide range of age-related physical and mental health concerns requires varying levels of support, among them skilled nursing and short-term rehab. But what are the main differences between these two services?

Skilled Nursing vs. Short-Term Rehab for Healthcare Concerns

As the name suggests, short-term rehab reflects a temporary need after an illness, injury, or surgery. Medicare coverage of inpatient rehabilitation specifies that: “Your doctor must certify that you have a medical condition that requires intensive rehabilitation, continued medical supervision, and coordinated care that comes from your doctors and therapists working together.”  

During short-term rehabilitation, you or your loved one has access to regular or even around-the-clock nursing care as needed during the stay, which may range from a few days to several weeks. Short-term rehab intends to help you or your loved one get back to more independent living in the shortest time possible. Working with physical, occupational, and/or speech therapists helps build strength and speed recovery after a hospitalization. Short-term rehab may also help with arranging additional home care services to ensure the transition home goes smoothly.

On the other hand, skilled nursing services can encompass rehabilitation needs — but they go well beyond mobility recovery after a knee or hip replacement. If the care needs of you or a loved one require the supervision of a doctor, nurses, or therapists over the short or long term, skilled nursing may be the best fit. Medicare coverage for a skilled nursing facility allows for short-term coverage for a hospital-related medical condition following a 3-day inpatient hospital stay or an illness that began in the facility while receiving post-hospital care. 

If you or your loved one has a chronic condition that requires on-going care, skilled nursing facilities can also address more complex healthcare needs. A team of physicians, nurses, therapists, nutritionists, and social workers will develop a care plan to treat or manage health issues and continue to adapt the plan to meet changing needs. Wound care, intravenous (IV) therapy, injections, and monitoring of vital signs or medical equipment fall into the category of skilled nursing services.

Benefits of Moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community

The Marjorie P. Lee continuing care retirement community, part of Episcopal Retirement Services, is designed to meet residents' needs over time. You or your loved one can live independently while enjoying the amenities of a senior living community, with the added confidence that our support services and staff are here to accommodate changes in your health and healthcare needs through our six levels of care.

  • Independent living enables you to enjoy a private residence with weekly housekeeping and linen/towel service. Not in the mood to cook? Residents can also enjoy continental breakfast and breakfast, lunch, and dinner service options in our inviting dining rooms.
  • Enriched living offers the same advantages of independent living, with added support. Options include hospitality and social support, such as meal reminders, customized fitness programs, additional light housekeeping services, or health services ranging from medication reminders or help from a Resident Assistant or ongoing care planning with support from a nurse or therapist.
  • Memory care is also available through Living Well Memory Support to serve residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, including memory care households where residents can enjoy socializing in community spaces and still get privacy when desired.
  • Short-term rehab at Marjorie P. Lee features a state-of-the-art therapy room, Fitness Zone and aquatics center, and a clinical team focused on a wide range of rehab therapies to help residents recover after a severe illness, injury, or surgery.
  • Long-term skilled nursing care comes with different options to suit different needs. For residents with physical or health challenges that require ongoing support, Marjorie P. Lee provides around-the-clock skilled nursing care at Berghamer House; Amstein House for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia; and Romney House, which offers studio and 1-bedroom apartments where residents can enjoy private time with family and friends. 

Whether you want to make a permanent move or just need temporary support for you or an older loved one following a hospitalization, we’re here to help as care needs change. Complete our information request form to learn more about the skilled nursing and short-term rehab services available at our Cincinnati continuing care retirement community.

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Kristin Davenport
October 12, 2020
Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public relations, and events. Kristin earned her BFA in graphic design from Wittenberg University. She joined ERS after a 25-year career as a visual journalist and creative director in Cincinnati. Kristin is passionate about making Cincinnati a dementia-inclusive city. She is a Lead SAIDO Learning Supporter and a member of the ‘Refresh Your Soul’ conference planning team at ERS. Kristin and her husband Alex, live in Lebanon, Ohio with their 2 daughters. She also serves as a Trustee and the President of the Lebanon Food Pantry and is a board member for ArtScape Lebanon.

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