Nursing homes are fully-staffed facilities which provide 24-hour care to residents. Although the general view is that they are designed for seniors, a person does not need to be a senior citizen in order to be cared for in a nursing home. There are two types of care provided in the facility: Short term and long term care.
Short term care: This is for those who have been in a hospital setting for a debilitating illness or surgical procedure. A patient is not ready to be discharged to home, but do not need the intensive level of care provided by an acute care hospital. The patient may need rehabilitative services, like physical, occupational or speech therapy.
The patient may still be dealing with a feeding tube or tracheotomy. Perhaps they need two people to help transfer them from the bed to a chair or commode. It is expected that they will recover and be able to eventually go to a different setting. If not, they may be transferred to the long term section of the facility or another one like it.
Long term care: This is for residents who need ongoing medical intervention, like round-the-clock assessment of pain, 24-hour monitoring of respiratory conditions, assistance turning frequently in bed to prevent bed sores, and other care that requires nursing services. Many facilities have important medical equipment for lifting and transferring residents. They have a nurse on staff 24/7.
If you are convinced that a Nursing Home is the proper facility for your loved one, there are some factors to consider when searching for just the right place.
Medicare has provided an extensive checklist that anyone can use to help them evaluate Nursing Homes. It can be broken down into general categories of questions to think about, evaluate or ask of the personnel when you call or visit. Some examples are:
- General questions: Is the facility Medicare abd/or Medicaid certified? Can you see a copy of the state inspection report? Is it in a location where family members can easily visit? Does the facility have the level of care and expertise needed for your loved one?
- Concerning the facility itself: Is it clean and free of unpleasant odors? Is it noisy? How is the temperature? Is there good lighting and nice, bright windows? Is smoking limited to certain areas? Are there private areas to accommodate visitation? Are there handrails in hallways and bathrooms?
- Staffing questions: Is there adequate staff to meet the needs of the residents? Are the staff respectful and polite? Do they interact kindly with the residents? What has been the turnover rate for the past year?
- Resident room evaluations: Do residents have space in their rooms for their personal belongings? Does each room have a window? How are personal belongings of residents protected? Can residents decorate their rooms with their own items? Do they each have a phone and television?
- Do residents have choices: Are there activities for residents who are able to participate? Can they make selections for their food and drinks? Are there set times for going to sleep, waking up, bathing and eating? Can visitors come any time?
Not all of these may be important to your selection, but they can certainly provide you guidelines.
The overwhelming task of choosing a Nursing Home, or even determining if a Nursing Home is the best option for your loved one out of all the facility choices, can be eased with the help of Stacy’s Helping Hand. We will meet with you in order to evaluate the needs of your loved one and go over all the types of facilities there are and the services they each provide. Once it is decided that your loved one does need a Nursing Home, we can go over your specific check list, schedule visits for you with appropriate facilities and even go on visits with you.