Before an individual can make a decision on which type of senior health care they need or which type of facility to choose, one must understand the differences that nursing homes, assisted living campuses, or a rehabilitation center offers. Do you need short term care, or long term care? Is your loved one near their end days and therefore would require hospice care? Each type of care has its own unique services, cost, and usually requires a different set of circumstances.
The modern day skilled nursing facility has transformed into a private environment of personal care with dignity. Nursing Homes provide care for patients that require licensed nurses to care for and monitor patients’ health care. Assisted living facilities by law cannot provide these services that require licensed nurses to administer. Patients in skilled nursing facilities typically require assistance in almost every activity of daily living such as bathing, walking, grooming, and eating. Skilled Nursing Facilities are heavily regulated by federal and state governments which is largely responsible for the high costs.
Someone who would be considering skilled Nursing Facility services for a loved one should remember this type of care is reserved for someone who has lost the majority of their ability to care for themselves from a functional and physical level. Nursing home services are long term care units that coordinate a range of medical, personal, and social services to meet the physical, social, and emotional needs of people who may be chronically ill or disabled. Services also include room and board, monitoring of medication, personal care, 24 hour emergency care, and social and recreational activities.
An elder person who is still able to engage in mobility and meet some of his/her daily needs, however cannot live at home on their own safely may not need a licensed nurse to provide all the care and services to maintain an independent quality of life. These individuals may be appropriate for an Assisted Living Facility. Each assisted living facility is licensed to administer services to ensure safety and wellness with a focus on quality of life. Every assisted living facility is different in some way. A new trend in the industry is where you have assisted living and nursing home services under one roof; just different wings of the building. This allows for continuous care of residents when they need upgrades services during times of health difficulties.
There are a wide range of assisted living choices, from vast retirement communities to a few beds under one roof of an all inclusive senior health care facility. Someone in search for an assisted living facility must ask themselves, how much do they want, and how much are they willing to pay. Some assisted living facilities have been designed to mimic a resort environment, where seniors can purchase a condo or an apartment within a larger complex. On the other side of the spectrum, someone in their golden years also has the choice of a quaint setting, much of that you would find at a local bed and breakfast inn.
If a person needs rehabilitation services, they most likely are recovering from a major surgery, injury or accident. The number foremost reasons why seniors reserve the services of a rehab center are for hip and knee replacements. Rehabilitation centers will offer occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and other therapy and counseling focused on restoring independence. Most rehab situations fall under short term care.
The newest of facilities in senior care are combining all three services under one roof. Having all of these facilities on one campus allows for patients to transition from service to service with ease and peace of mind. Facilities that offer all these divisions of care have been able to increase their volume of patients because of the continuity of care. Facilities that offer skilled nursing care, assisted living, and rehabilitation are masters of customer service and patient care. They must balance the continued care between services for patients; they must be able to have a well versed understanding of the documentation and regulation associated with each type of care. An example of such a facility is the Pride Therapy and Living Campus, in Weston, Wisconsin.
Regardless of the type of facility you choose, always do your research on the facility. Don’t be afraid to ask them the hard questions; how did they rank in their CMS rating, or how did they score on the last state inspection. Remember you are the consumer and patient, and you have to feel comfortable with putting your and/or the life of your loved one in their hands.