What’s the Difference Between Nursing Homes and Rehab Facilities?

difference-nursing-home-rehab-facilityAlthough the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, nursing home and Rehab facilities offer different services and carry different costs. Before deciding which is the better choice families need to look at the particular needs of the patient and what services are offered at each facility.

Nursing Homes

There are many more housing options today for the elderly than half a century ago. Nursing homes today seek to provide a permanent home for elderly people who need daily care with routine tasks or who may require supervision and monitoring of their movements.

Operators of nursing homes seek to create a pleasant environment with as many amenities as possible. Residents may choose private or shared rooms and are encouraged to use their own furnishings where possible.

Some of the daily activities or services provided include helping in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, using the bathroom and help with meals. Staff may also assist with medication including oxygen, catheters and administering or applying medications.
Older adults may require nursing home care when close supervision is required. This may be the result of dementia or memory loss as in Alzheimer’s disease.

When around the clock care is required nursing homes are often chosen as an option. In general, when an adult is unable to perform routine care nursing home care may be required. Nursing home care is also indicated where a person is too ill or frail to live alone. In addition to physical issues, mental and emotional deficiency may be a reason to seek nursing home care.

In some cases, long term care may be covered by Medicaid, a government program for low income individuals. To receive these benefits, the resident has to meet certain financial guidelines in terms of income and assets. Medicare may cover short term nursing home stays based on certain guidelines.

Rehab Facility

Unlike nursing homes which are residential in nature, rehab facilities provide specialized medical care and/or rehabilitation services to injured, sick or disabled patients. People in these facilities are typically referred by a hospital for follow up care after a stay in the hospital for surgery as an example. Patients at these facilities receive care from nurses and other health care specialists. Some services offered include speech therapy and physical rehabilitation.

Some of the conditions that may require short or long term care at a rehab facility include stroke, Parkinson’s disease, surgery, acute illness, infection and general wound care. These conditions may require physical therapy administration of antibiotics, intravenous injections of medication or other medical care.

The staff of a rehab facility may include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, vocational nurses, speech pathologists, physical therapists, audiologists, a medical director and other specialized medical staff as needed.

Rehab facilities are regulated and certified by the federal government. Stay at these facilities is covered by Medicare for up to 100 days. These facilities must also meet certain state and local regulations.

Rehab facilities are generally designed to address short term conditions. These facilities are not considered residential facilities. When a patient leaves a rehab facility, they may return home and receive in-home assistance or they may seek a nursing home or other permanent residential options.





About Senior Path:
We are a professional, senior housing advisory service which provides personal attention to Seniors and their families. We employ a staff of talented, caring Advisors who have vast experience helping Seniors and their families through this transition. Our Advisors have extensive backgrounds in the Senior Care industry enabling them to understand what Seniors want and need.