Short-Term vs. Long-Term Skilled Nursing Care


If you have recently been hospitalized, you may be required to continue your recovery journey at a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). A skilled nursing facility offers a range of care services from short-term to long-term care, whether you had a planned joint replacement procedure, or recently suffered a stroke. It is important to know the right type of treatment for your specific rehabilitation needs to reach your highest level of recovery.

At Prestige Care, our skilled nursing centers specialize in both short-term and long-term care. Understanding the difference between the two levels of care will help you or your loved one choose the right care program to successfully improve your quality of life and provide optimal recovery.

What is Short-Term Care?

Short-Term Care, also known as skilled nursing or post-acute rehabilitation, is provided for patients recovering from a surgery, illness, or other type of injury that is expected to improve over a short period of time. Typically, patients only spend about 25-30 days in a short-term care center with the intention of successfully transitioning from hospital to home with the tools necessary for each phase of recovery. Short-term care is tailored to each patient’s individual rehabilitation needs and may involve a range of services including speech, physical or occupational therapy. The goal for this level of care is to provide patients with the rehabilitation care they need to be able to return home to their active and independent lifestyle.

Short-Term Care at Prestige

During your short-term stay at a Prestige skilled nursing center, we provide ongoing, comprehensive evaluations to determine your need for home health or outpatient services on your return home. Our goal is not only for you to recover, but also to prevent future complications through education and enhanced well-being. Regardless of your age and ability, our highly skilled healthcare team diligently works with each patient to ensure they are receiving the right level of care to help achieve their goals. Here are some examples of short-term care you may receive at our skilled nursing centers:

  • Physical therapy: functional mobility skills improvement, strength, and mobility.
  • Occupational therapy: refining motor skills, improving hand and upper extremity function, and achieving independence in daily activities.
  • Speech therapy: improving communication in speaking, problem solving, reading, writing, verbal expression, and resolving problems with swallowing.

What is Long-Term Care?

Long-Term Care, also known as extended care, is recommended for patients who require longer stays when their care needs are no longer able to be met at a lower level of care. Patients with a chronic disease or debilitating medical condition such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or stroke may require ongoing long-term care to improve their quality of life. This type of care provides patients with 24-hour care designed to support individual medical needs and may include a combination of a customized diet, restorative exercise, and assistance with daily activities.

Long-Term Care at Prestige

At Prestige, our interdisciplinary team works with each long-term care patient to build an Individualized Care Plan that is tailored to each person’s preferences and needs. In addition to 24/7 nursing oversite, we use a holistic approach focused on enhancing a patient’s well-being through daily stimulating activities, social services support, dietary preferences, and other services. Our long-term services and support include:

  • Pulmonary Care
  • Intravenous/Infusion Therapy
  • Vascular Wound Management
  • Cancer Recovery
  • Coordinated Palliative and Hospice Care
  • Tracheotomy Care

Main Differences Between Short and Long-Term Care

Skilled Nursing Facilities may offer both short-term and long-term care, however there are some major differences to keep in mind while choosing skilled nursing care for you or your loved one.

Short-Term Care:

  • Temporary care lasting between 20-30 days.
  • Transitional period from hospital to home.
  • Recovery from a surgery, injury, or illness.
  • Goal-oriented care such as occupational, physical or speech therapy.
  • Patient returns home to their active and independent lifestyle.

Long-Term Care:

  • In-patient care lasting more than 30 days.
  • Treatment for patients with chronic illness or debilitating medical condition.
  • Complex medical needs may include wound care, tube feeding, or IV services.
  • Ongoing care involving clinical, therapeutic, and daily personal care to improve quality of life.
  • Patient may be required to stay in long-term center indefinitely, or transition to an Assisted Living Facility.

Short and Long-Term Care at Prestige Care

During your stay at a Prestige Care Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, our highly trained clinical team is dedicated to helping you every step of the way throughout your recovery journey. We provide short-term and long-term care, comprehensive evaluations, and education to help achieve each individual’s unique needs and ensure the highest quality of life for each patient.

Learn more about the additional care we offer at