Making the choice to move a loved one to a skilled nursing facility is not a decision that is taken lightly. Because there is no certain age criteria, one must look at the actual physical and emotional health of the person in consideration.
What Is a Skilled Nursing Facility?
In California, the Department of Public Health licenses all skilled nursing facilities, also commonly known as nursing homes. These health care facilities provide round-the-clock custodial care and skilled nursing to individuals on a long-term basis. Most, but not all of these dwellings, are Medicare and Medi-Cal certified, while some only accept private payments. The facility’s admissions department can provide additional information on this, as can a Senior Advisor from We Know a Place.
Outside of a hospital, a nursing home is the highest level of care offered for older adults. Residents receive help getting in and out of bed, as well as assistance with medication, meals, bathing and dressing. They also have a calendar of planned social activities for each day of the week. Since it is a health facility, a high level of medical care is also provided. Each resident has a licensed physician oversee his or her care and a nurse or similar medical professional is always on the premises. Skilled nursing is typically available, as is physical and occupational therapists.
Indicators of Admission to a Skilled Nursing Facility
Many senior citizens who enter skilled nursing facilities may already live in other elder care dwellings such as a board and care or assisted living. In this case, making the move to a skilled nursing facility is typically not as traumatic to the individual as relocating from his or her home. Either way, expect some resistance especially if there are some basic indicators or signals that are identified that is time to consider the move. Remember, though, that only a physician can detect the true indicators of a nursing home admission. When in doubt, contact him or her immediately:
- Illness: If the individual in question is frequently hospitalized or needs constant monitoring because of an ailment, then consider a skilled nursing facility. Other chronic health problems such as a stroke, heart attack or hip fracture are also indicators that your loved one needs the care available from a nursing home staff.
- Physical disabilities: This type of support is beneficial to those who are physically disabled. Those who use wheelchairs or who have limited mobility may have problems performing daily tasks such as taking medication, showering, preparing meals and using the bathroom. Nursing home personnel can help with these activities as well as walking without risking injury, taking care of personal needs and moving from one place to another, such as in and out of a chair.
- Mental impairments: Senior citizens with advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease or other memory impairment typically are better served in a skilled nursing facility. Indicators of this include the refusal to take prescribed medication, unable to care for one’s basic needs and no longer able to remember simple information or communicate clearly.
For More Information
A Senior Care Advisor from We Know A Place can also help your family during this transition. For more information, call (800) 500-Place or visit weknowaplace.com.