When it comes to senior care, there are a lot of terms that sound similar, and ‘skilled nursing’ is often a confusing term. Understanding these is an important first step in deciding which care options will be best for you or your loved one.
Skilled Nursing Care
You may, of course, be wondering what is skilled nursing care? There are two different types of skilled nursing care: care that may only be necessary for a short period of time, focusing on rehabilitation from an illness or injury, and long-term care for patients who are facing chronic conditions and need care on a frequent or constant basis.
Skilled nursing facilities provide healthcare such as physical, speech, and occupational therapy which are carried out 24/7 by licensed nurses and health professionals. Skilled nursing facilities give patients round-the-clock assistance with healthcare, in addition to assistance with daily living activities. Some facilities are even equipped to care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related illnesses.
When Is Skilled Nursing Care Required?
Knowing what they do can help you make a comprehensive decision about whether this is what a loved one needs. Skilled nursing care involves trained professionals administering care services including, but not limited to:
- Post-operative wound care and complex wound dressings
- Dispensing and monitoring medications
- Tube feedings
- Catheter, incontinence, and colostomy care
- Blood transfusions
- Diabetic management
- Rapidly changing health status
- Monitoring vital signs
- Physical therapy – this helps with strength and balance after hip and knee replacements
- Speech therapy – for help in communication following a stroke
- Occupational therapy to help patients become independent again
Is Skilled Nursing Care Right for You or Your Family Member?
So how do you know if skilled nursing care is right for you or your loved one? It all depends on how much care they will require, and this can vary from person to person. If you or your loved one needs medical care for an injury or illness, alongside assistance with daily living activities, then you might want to consider skilled nursing care.
Of course, if you or your loved one require assistance with daily living tasks such as getting dressed, meal preparation, housekeeping, and personal hygiene, but don’t require intensive medical care, then you might want to consider assisted living instead. Assisted living facilities are usually better for seniors who are more mobile because they will often have their own apartments and be much more independent.
Choosing The Right Senior Care Facility
In many cases, a doctor will help you to make the decision on whether skilled nursing care is necessary for you or your loved one’s needs. However, choosing the right facility is important to make sure that you or your loved one are safe, secure, and comfortable. You can take tours of different facilities and discuss options with trusted friends or family members to help you make your decision. There is also a comprehensive list of questions you should ask when choosing a senior care facility, which will help you to pick the right option for you or your family member.