When searching for a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, you should dispel any myths you heard about a specific facility or about nursing homes in general. Even if some of the allegations turn out to be true, it’s best to research everything you know or were told about these facilities.
Traditionally, the term “nursing homes” have negative overtones for many people. At one time, they were facilities where poor and destitute seniors were sent to live out the rest of their lives. The homes were run down and very little care was given.
Over the years, the federal government mandated the licensing of nursing homes where they had to adhere to certain guidelines. Unfortunately, that was not always the case. Allegations of inadequate care, elder abuse and Medicare fraud at some facilities made headlines, and again, nursing homes in general received a bad rap.
Common Nursing Home Myths
By separating the fact from fiction, you will get a better understanding of the type of care nursing homes provide. An elder care service such as We Know a Place can also help you break down the differences. Here are a few of the more common myths associated with nursing homes:
Nursing homes are poorly run: While it is important to thoroughly research any nursing home being considered, it’s not true that all provide inadequate care. Stricter standards are set forth by the federal government and all the staffing information and past violations is available to the public.
A nursing home is an individual’s only option for elder care: Today, there are many residential options for seniors depending on the level of care and assistance needed. These include assisted living facilities, senior residential communities and in-home caregivers.
Nursing homes are for those whose families don’t care about them: Many cultures believe that families should take care of their elders and not send them to live in nursing homes or other elder care facilities. However, in today’s society, with smaller families living farther apart and seniors living longer with chronic illnesses, caring for parents or grandparents especially if they are sick is not as feasible. These families do care but are unable to provide for their aging relative.
There is nothing to do in a nursing but sit or lie in bed: Good nursing homes have social settings and various scheduled activities for residents including movies, arts and crafts and game night.
Nursing homes are just like hospitals: While medical care is available at nursing homes, their goal is to provide rehabilitation to enable individuals to return to independent living or other elder care arrangements. Nursing homes also want to maintain a person’s maximum rehabilitation level as long as possible given the age and health of the seniors.
Residents lose all their rights when in a nursing home: All nursing home residents maintain all constitutional rights, as well as their right to voice complaints and concerns about the facility and their care. They also have the right to appoint a representative (such as a Power of Attorney) to speak on their behalf.
Medicare will cover all nursing home costs: Under some conditions, Medicare will pay for nursing home costs for those requiring skilled nursing or rehabilitation services following a hospital stay of at least three days. However, Medicare does not pay for nursing home services for those who cannot be cared for at home or in another elder care facility. In California, Medi-Cal will cover the costs of skilled nursing care as long as the individual is eligible.
For Additional Information
A Senior Care Advisor from We Know A Place can also help find the right nursing home for you or your loved one. For more information, call (800) 500-Place or visit weknowaplace.com.