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What is a Short Term Care Facility?

Everyone needs a little help now and then. Sometimes, the required level of care for a loved one requires specialized training or knowledge that friends and family may not have. The patient may also need 24-hour monitoring, seven days per week, making it difficult for families to handle. In those cases, a short term care facility may be warranted.

Also called skilled nursing care, short term care provides medical assistance and treatment for those who are recovering from injury, illness, or surgery, and are not yet ready or able to take care of themselves. Short term care facilities are intended for a finite stay. The goal of the time spent there is to rehabilitate the patient so that they can return to independent living.

Purpose Of Short Term Care

There may be some overlap in the type and level of healthcare between long and short term care, as they are frequently located in different parts of the same building. However, expectations differ significantly. With long term care, there is no likelihood that the resident will ever return to independent living.

A rehab patient with severe injuries may need many of the same medical professionals and therapists during their recovery as long term patients, but the primary goal of short term care is to support the patient while they heal and acquire the skills necessary to return to independent living.

New skills may be needed before a patient can be discharged. For instance, if someone has been in a terrible accident and temporarily loses the ability to use their arms while they are in casts, they will need someone to help with basic hygiene and nutrition until they regain mobility.

Perhaps the patient has had surgery and cannot easily reach the wound to care for it properly. In both examples, the patients may need a variety of medical professionals to help with the daily tasks they cannot do themselves but only until they are healed sufficiently to go home.

Main Benefits Of Short Term Care

Benefits of short term facilities are numerous: 24-hour medical care, balanced meals, personal hygiene services, and respite for family members are just a few. Nurses can educate patients on how to care for incisions, prevent infection, and self-administer medications.

When a patient is given the psychological, educational, nutritional, and physical support they need to heal, the patient's quality of life increases and the recovery is accelerated.


There are many reasons that someone may require short term care. Treatments common to a short term care facility are physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Depending upon the injury and rehabilitation plan, the therapist or physician may prescribe therapeutic massage or biofeedback to help increase muscle strength and mobility and overcome pain from injuries.

Exercise is encouraged to improve strength and cardiovascular health. The therapies and services offered in short term facilities are intended to return the patients to a level of autonomy.

In some cases, the patient may need to learn a new way of doing daily tasks, as in the case of limb amputation. If the patient suffered a brain injury or stroke, they might need to learn to speak or walk again to be independent.

Special attention may be given for: • Ostomy care • IV therapy • Wound care • Psychological support

Additional services may include: • Prescription services • Podiatry care • Nutritional counseling • Discharge planning

Choose Mitchell Hollingsworth Nursing and Rehab

When selecting the appropriate facility, you want to ensure that it meets all the needs of the patient. Does the facility provide all the required therapies to rehabilitate this patient? Does it provide activities or social opportunities while the patient is recovering? Are they accredited? Are skilled medical staff available at all times?

When you or a family member need short term care, contact The Summit at Mitchell Hollingsworth Nursing and Rehab. We are a trusted provider of skilled nursing care. You can feel confident that your recovery will be handled with excellent care and quality treatment.

Image Credit: Getty Images / dragana991



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