First of all, if someone tells you that your senior is in need of skilled nursing care, it’s likely that they’ll be moved to a nursing home.
In the infamous words of Douglas Adams, “Don’t panic.”
Most nursing homes have foregone the “medical” or “hospital” –look because people felt institutionalized. No, today, most skilled nursing facilities (SNFs, for short) are much more homey. Many have carpeted surfaces, actual furniture and even allow for the residents to bring their own decorum (including pets should they have pets).
Nursing homes also need to be licensed by the government, which just means that they are regularly inspected by the Department of Health and Human Services – so you know your elder is getting quality care.
That being said, your elder may not feel comforted by the aforementioned sentiments, especially if a doctor is breaking the news to them that they’ll need to spend time in a nursing home. Completely understandable, but know this, skilled nursing facilities provide short and long-term care.
Short and Long Term Care for Seniors?
Yes! See, years ago, all that was portrayed in the media (movies, TV shows, news outlets, etc.), were Old Folks Homes. There was no distinction of the various senior living communities.
So, what kind of care, do nursing homes provide?
Nursing homes provide 24 hour, skilled nursing care (hence, the name) and the staff perform the tasks that the elders (or adults) cannot do (temporarily or long term).
What is the short-term skilled nursing care?
The short-term care is for those who need rehabilitative care following a medical emergency or surgery of some kind. For example, let’s say your elder fell, broke their hip and had to get surgery – don’t be embarrassed, it happens far more often than you’d think. Following the surgery, your senior will need to keep the weight off their broken hip, it doesn’t mean they need to move to a nursing home, it just means that temporarily, they’re going to need extra care, especially if they can’t walk for a while because that would put pressure on it.
As a result, the staff are there to help with all those tasks, from bathing, dressing, eating, to getting around and cooking. Depending on the wound, they may assist with intravenous medication. Or, if your elder suffered a stroke, then they may help with speech/physical therapy.
What is the long-term skilled nursing care?
Long-term skilled nursing care is restricted to those that need 24/7 senior care. People who have multiple health problems or are in the later stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. This is the kind of care, you simply cannot receive at home – without incurring exorbitant costs.
What is the Difference Between Skilled Care and Other Senior Living Options?
Independent Living (AKA Retirement Homes) are for elders that don’t require a great deal of care, but don’t want the stress of maintaining a home. These may also be people who know they’ll need more care later on, so they want to find a community ahead of time.
Assisted Living provides more care than Independent Living by helping with transportation, dressing, feeding and other services. It offers more moderate care.
Adult Family Homes can vary greatly between intensive care and minor-care. The biggest reason to choose these senior care homes is because they offer very personalized care since the residents are limited to 6 (in Washington anyway).
Nursing Homes provide the MOST care with 24/7 nurses that are skilled in all things seniors.
If you’re on the lookout for a skilled nursing home, contact our Care Advisors and we’ll give you only the most credible and certified options.