What Is Skilled Nursing Care?
While the terms “assisted living,” “skilled nursing,” and “nursing home” are often used interchangeably, they mean different things.
The term nursing home refers to the physical building where residents are given assisted living or skilled nursing care.
Assisted living is meant for seniors who don’t require 24-hour nursing care but need help accomplishing activities of daily living (ADL). These can include assistance with bathing, dressing, medication, eating, and getting out of bed.
The definition of skilled nursing
Skilled nursing care is defined as a patient’s need for care or treatment that only licensed nurses can perform. Skilled nursing care is typically offered in nursing homes, assisted living communities, hospitals, Life Plan Communities, as well as other certified facilities. Skilled nursing services are regulated by the United States Department of Health and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). For skilled nursing facilities to be certified by CMS, they have to meet strict criteria and will be subject to periodic inspections aimed at ensuring that quality standards are being adhered to.
Types of skilled nursing care
After undergoing surgery, suffering a stroke, or receiving extensive treatment for heart, kidney, or respiratory conditions, your loved one might still require rehabilitation at a skilled nursing center after leaving the hospital. Medicare typically covers skilled nursing services should the physician prescribe specialized therapies – physical and occupational therapy – medical equipment, medications, social services, and supplies to assist your loved one in their recovery. But in order to qualify, you will need to visit a Medicare-certified skilled nursing community.
After suffering an illness, undergoing surgery, or being hospitalized, a rehab care team will design a personalized plan to ensure an optimal outcome.
Memory training, getting dressed, and coordination exercises are all part of specialized therapies for interacting with social and physical surroundings.
Deals with communication problems and swallowing dysfunction. Speech and language pathologists come up with a treatment plan that aids with language ability offers alternative communication strategies, and gives proper diet recommendations.
The skilled nursing staff comprises of:
• Registered nurses
• Licensed practical nurses
• Speech and language pathologists
• Licensed vocational nurses
• Medical directors
A skilled nursing home is also required to have in place a transfer agreement with a hospital should a resident need emergency care.
How to Choose a Skilled Nursing Home
Here are some great tips and important questions to ask yourself when choosing a skilled nursing community:
• A well-skilled nursing facility should be clean and well maintained
• Are the staff welcoming, and do they greet residents by name?
• Is it a place you feel comfortable leaving your loved one?
• How are the residents being cared for, and do they seem happy?
• What are your overall impressions of the community?