AFL vs. NH vs. SNF
A topic that we don’t talk often about is geriatrics, but it is very important. In the inpatient and outpatient setting, these are the patients physician assistants will see the most. Although 65+ year olds comprise only 13% of our population, they make up 35% of all prescriptions we write for.Not all geriatric patients live in nursing homes, although 70% of all people who reach age 65 will need long-term care for at least some period of time before they die.
- Nursing Homes
- 65 years or older - 5%
- 75 to 84 years - 6%
- 85+ - 22%
So, what is Long Term Care?
Long Term Care is an umbrella term and covers a range of facilities
What is the difference between:
Assisted Living Facilities (AFL)
Assisted living is kind of like a hotel. Meals are provided but they have to come down to get them; laundry is done often, and rooms are cleaned. It is expected that people can do their own ADLs (activities of daily living) and if they can’t, they need to pay to get dressed, bathed, and to be given medications. Only 1/3 of assisted living facilities have an RN on site. ALFs are considered like the patients’ own home and they are called residents rather than patients.
Nursing homes are very regulated facilities that provide 24-hour nursing care. Patients in nursing homes have major problems with function or cognition. Staff provide assistance with ADLs. It is usually for very frail patients. Many patients would prefer not to go to a nursing home.
Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)
Skilled nursing facilities are often located within a nursing home. They provide care for patients who have had a CVA (stroke), hip fractures, etc. that is debilitating. They give antibiotics and administer IVs, etc. There is an interdisciplinary team and they have PT’s and OT’S on site.
Special thanks to Dr. Vivyenne Roche for her help!