ALF vs SNF? How to decipher healthcare alphabet soup
ALF is short for assisted living facility. Structured similarly to a typical apartment complex. At an ALF, residents typically receive three meals a day, housekeeping and laundry service, and various daily activity programs in addition to help with medication management. Generally, people who live in an ALF need assistance with one or more of their daily activities, such as bathing, medications, and movement within the facility. Assisted living is generally for long-term patients, that need around-the-clock care, and will likely not be returning home. Support is meant to be residential in design, providing the necessary care while maintain a home-like feel.
SNFs are very different. An SNF is a skilled nursing facility. At an SNF, patients typically need regular treatments or extra help from a skilled nursing staff. This can include IV medications, respiratory therapy, and other daily therapy services. SNFs are sometimes referred to as nursing homes and are not just for elderly individuals, but for anyone who needs 24-hour care. Staying in an SNF can often be temporary, and patients know about their goals of rehabilitation and returning home. Depending on the SNF, there may be nurses’ stations on each floor and special care units for patients that need extra care.
Hopefully this information makes it clearer to spot differences between ALFs and SNFs. Still have questions? Feel free to contact Athena Health Care Systems at 860-751-3900 to speak with our representatives about which type of facility will best fit your needs.