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Gone are the days when nursing homes were thought of as dreary places. Today’s nursing home landscape is just as much about caring for the mental health of a resident as it is about meeting their physical needs. In many cases, these types of communities more closely resemble resorts with their beautiful campuses, pools, fitness centers, restaurant-style dining, and housekeeping services— all on top of the peace of mind of knowing that skilled nursing services are just a call away.
As an environment that fosters the independence and individuality of each resident, nursing homes are specifically designed to provide the right amount of support and quality of care to help older adults live life to the fullest.
If you need help finding the right nursing home near you, please reach out to a representative at Caring Advisor! We want to help make the transition for you or your loved one as seamless and stress-free as possible.
Nursing homes are the highest level of care outside of a hospital that offer 24-hour supervised care from a team of medical professionals. A licensed physician supervises all health services administered by the registered nurses and staff members. Additionally, many medical procedures and therapies are offered on-site for your convenience.
Nursing homes welcome seniors for both short-term and long-term care. For example, they can be used by convalescents as a temporary solution to recover from surgery, injury, or hospitalization in situations where it is imperative that a caregiver always be present. In most cases, however, seniors live in a nursing home facility full-time to receive the on-going care they require.
Before exploring this option, people considering a nursing home for themselves or their loved one should make sure that it is medically necessary, because a lower-maintenance individual may be better suited for independent living or an assisted living facility.
While nursing homes may be more health care-focused, they still offer ample services and amenities to match a variety of needs. This is in an effort to upgrade their reputation into viable options that treat the whole being—physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.
In any nursing nursing across the U.S., you can typically expect:
When certain senior living options can no longer give a senior the support they need, a nursing home may be the next step. In general, nursing home services are intended for seniors who are unable to take care of themselves due to medical, behavioral, cognitive, or functional issues.
Often a referral to a nursing home needs to come from a doctor, therefore, the senior must be assessed by their primary care provider who will evaluate their long-term care needs.
Nursing homes are licensed, regulated, inspected, and certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as a number of other agencies at the state and federal levels. As such, eligibility for nursing home care generally depends on each state’s nursing home testing standards and guidelines, but typically seniors may qualify if they require some or all of the following:
If your loved one requires specialized care for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, debilitating health conditions, serious chronic diseases, or incontinence that requires round-the-clock care, a nursing home or memory care facility is critically essential.
Skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes are not opposing care options, but rather two similar options in the healthcare spectrum to support the continuation of care in the aging process. In fact, some care facilities actually operate as both even though there is a slight difference between them that all comes down to the level of care provided and the length of time desired.
A skilled nursing facility (SNF) is an in-patient rehabilitation and medical treatment center staffed by trained registered nurses under a doctor’s supervision. It’s basically the same level of nursing care you get in the hospital, but it may focus more on providing transitional care with the goal of getting the patient well enough to go home.
On the other hand, a nursing home is more often a permanent, comfortable residence for people who benefit from skilled nursing in addition to being unable to live independently. Nursing home residents are usually in need of custodial care 24/7, which is non-skilled personal care performed by licensed practical nurses and nurse aides under the supervision of a registered nurse. These staff members assist in activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of a bed, using the bathroom, bathing, dressing, eating, and more.
When caregivers first start looking at pricing for nursing homes, it may seem overwhelming. Upon closer look though, you may be surprised to find that it’s less than home health care or other long-term care facilities. And while there are a variety of senior living options out there, there are also a variety of options to help you pay for them.
On top of social security and veterans benefits, financial assistance is available depending on different variables including the state where the senior lives, economic situation, and more. Nursing homes have the added benefit of accepting payment from programs that may extend more coverage than normal. For example, because a resident is mandated by a physician to enter a nursing home, the need for medical care is seen as more legitimate in the eyes of government agencies.
Medicaid is the single largest payer for nursing home care. The amount that is covered at a nursing home depends on a person’s marital status, the state of residence, income, and assets. If a senior qualifies, he or she can only live at a Medicaid-certified skilled nursing facility. Medicare may also be accepted at nursing facilities for short-term stays.
Along with the above options, some private insurance providers offer long-term care insurance depending on your policy. LTC insurance helps to pay for the cost of skilled nursing by covering services typically not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
If you do not qualify for any of the above options, you may consider one of these options to cover nursing home costs:
Now that you have a better idea of what this type of senior care facility is like, your next step is to find a nursing home near you. In order to do so, you can talk to family members, friends, neighbors, trusted advisors, and any residents that currently live in a nursing home. Online searching using Caring Advisor is also a great place to start!
How can we be of assistance in your end-of-life planning? Let us help you cut through the clutter of all of the senior living options that are available, such as assisted living, independent living, memory care facility, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), and more.