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What happens when an elderly person can no longer live safely at home because of their health condition and does not necessarily need to be in a hospital? If this is the situation for you or your loved one, the ideal solution is looking for a nursing home near you.
For the longest time, just mentioning the phrase nursing home to any senior brought associations with old age homes near them that did not provide adequate long-term care to their residents. Things, however, changed dramatically for the better over the decades primarily due to consumer pressures and intense government regulations. Today, retirees who need good skilled nursing care near them have the pleasure of retiring in first-class retirement communities near them that are highly regulated and provide excellent skilled nursing care. Extended care facilities are put in place to offer senior citizens who have mental disabilities or severe physical health issues excellent care and treatment. Find out all the essential information you need to know about these type of senior care facilities below.
Finding the Best Nursing Homes Near Me
The odds are high that someone in your family might need to search for a nursing home at some point in their lives. It is not uncommon for the elderly adults or their family members to look for the closest nursing homes to their location. This works well for seniors who do not want to move very far away from home. There are a number of sources you can exploit when looking for nursing homes close by such as:
- The Ombudsman Program - all the states have this program where individuals can get details on how to find a nursing facility near them that provides quality care. Government officials from ombudsman are also responsible for helping to solve issues that residents have with the nursing homes. They identify complaints, investigate them and come up with amicable ways to resolve them.
- Eldercare advocated like the Area Agency on Aging
- Hospital staff like discharge planners or care facility social workers
- National and local non-profit organizations
- Doctors or other members of the medical team
- The Joint Commission - this will help you access reports on various facilities
- Friends and relatives
Once you have a list of some of the skilled nursing facilities that you or your loved one can use, go through some nursing home reviews to find out more information about facilities. Do not just rely on word of mouth from other people as it is advisable to visit the elderly homes you feel will serve your best interests. While visiting the health care facilities, prepare a list of questions to ask administrators, staff, as well as other residents if they are in a position to talk. Some of the areas you can inquire about include:
- Information about certification and licenses
- How much the nursing home will cost
- The type of assistance residents receives at the skilled nursing facility
- What level of medical care does the elderly care facility offer
- Which learning or social opportunities are available at the long-term care facility
- Philosophy of the skilled nursing facility
- General life in the nursing community
- Does the nursing residence accept visitors?
- Is the nursing home pet-friendly?
Do not just visit during predictable times. Instead, it helps to arrive at times unannounced during weekends and meals times. This will allow you to see how life really goes in in the elder care home.
This is the best time to study how the staff interacts with the occupants. You must only move into a skilled nursing facility where everyone is treated with respect regardless of their mental or physical condition. Personnel should also be caring, friendly and supportive while offering the type of care that their patients deserve. Additionally, they should respect the inhabitants’ privacy doing simply things like knocking before they enter their living quarters and offering clear communication on all the procedures.
When you are around during meal times, go ahead and share a meal with some of the residents at the nursing home facility. This will give you an opportunity to taste the food that the kitchen staff presents to the occupants. Here you can also talk to the kitchen staff to know if they take special requests in case a person needs to eat something different from what is on the menu or if they have special dietary needs.
You may be required to sign a contract before moving into a nursing home. Make sure you go through the nursing home agreement keenly to ensure that there is no clause you do not understand. If need be, work with an expert lawyer so that you are not short-changed in any way.
Looking for the closest nursing home is usually not an easy decision regardless of whether it is for yourself or a beloved family member. It poses new financial and emotional challenges that you must be ready to tackle head on to end up making the best decision.
What are Nursing Homes?
Nursing homes are a kind of residential care facilities that offer 24/7 nursing care to aging residents. Also known as long-term care facilities, skilled nursing, or convalescent home / convalescent care residences, the homes are typically designed to take care of retired persons who are 65 years or older. Occupants can stay in the facilities for as long as they need the services that the nursing communities offer. The homes also offer short-term rehabilitative stays following injury, illness or surgery that may require nursing care around the clock.
Who Stays in Nursing Homes?
There are number of reasons why a member of the older generation would stay in a nursing home. Among them are:
- Seniors who are not able to complete more than three daily living tasks. If your loved one needs help with 2 or more daily tasks but does not need 24/7 nursing care, it's better to look for assisted living homes near you. A high percentage of residents who stay at nursing homes also need supervision or assistance with transfer i.e. moving from place to the next. Most also have difficulties seeing or hearing. Quite a number also have incontinence issues, either bladder or bowel.
- Older adults with mental issues. Other than physical problems, some older adults who reside in nursing homes have various mental conditions. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease remain the most common, and due to the increase in the number of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, you should able to find memory care near you without any problems. Patients with these problems are usually not in a position to make daily decisions, know where they are most of the time, or remember things easily.
- Retired adults with problematic behaviors. Some occupants in the convalescent care nursing homes also showcase problematic behaviors. These may include physical or verbal abuse, resisting essential care, acting inappropriately in public, and wandering. Note that inhabitants with communication problems also exist in the long-term care residences. Those residents have difficulties understanding others or even being understood.
What Services Can I Expect in Nursing Homes Near Me?
If you have never been to a local nursing home, you are probably curious as to what goes in there. Truth is skilled nursing facilities offer a broad range of services that benefit older adults. In addition to twenty-four-hour nursing care, the residences provide rehabilitative services like:
This is a critical service offered by nursing homes that helps patients to enhance strength, flexibility, endurance, range of motion and balance. Physical therapy is also necessary when it comes to the prevention of accidents and injuries because it focuses on increasing fitness levels, restoring mobility, pain reduction and maintaining high levels of independence. Numerous conditions can benefit from this therapy including arthritis and pain that is associated with incontinence, cancer, stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
This therapy is beneficial for anyone who wants to regain skills following illness or injury. It also comes in handy for nursing facility patients who require support during cognitive and physical changes. It concentrates on daily living activities such as taking a bath, dressing and grooming. Occupational therapy generally assists patients to comfortably and safely reintegrate into the community by practicing the transfer of surfaces like couches, beds, and chairs and things like dining publicly. Therapists also work to teach aged adults strategies to maximize memory, attention span length and sequencing.
The service is offered at nursing homes by speech-language pathologists who work with adults who have challenges with speech or language. The experts evaluate their patient’s speech to come up with ideal treatment methods.
Other services aging individuals receive in the long-term care facilities include:
- Supervision at all times
- Nutritious meals and snacks
- Recreational and social activities
- Round the clock emergency care
- Medication monitoring
- Room and board
- Orthopedic care (touches on the care for bone problems, joints, and muscles).
- Wound care
- Respite care
- Hospice care
- End-of-life care
What Amenities Will I Find in Nursing Facilities Near Me?
The amenities that retired persons enjoy in nursing and convalescent care facilities typically depend on the residence where a person stays. There are some amenities that aged adults use for relaxation such as spas, barber shops, beauty salons, libraries, chapels, lecture halls and media rooms.
Some amenities that can be found in 55 and older communities near you can also be found in large dedicated nursing care communities. Such amenities are put in place to encourage socialization. These can include clubhouses, entertaining rooms and billiards and games rooms. Elders also get a chance to enjoy various medical amenities which can include therapy pools, physical therapy rooms and foot care services.
Who Takes Care of Seniors Residing in Nursing Homes?
All states have their own requirements that demand that nursing homes have adequate personnel to care for the inhabitants properly. Staff members who take care of retirees in these senior homes are:
Nurses - All nursing homes must have at least one RN (registered nurse) working 8 hours straight all the days of the week. The professionals are responsible for assessing the health of residents and monitoring outcomes. A list of some of their duties are:
- Administering drugs
- Implementing care plans
- Recording and monitoring medical changes
- Maintaining precise records for all patients
- Guiding licenced vocational nurses (LVN), licenced practical nurses (LPN), and nursing assistants
Nursing assistants - They are experts who are part of the nursing home team that offer patients custodial care. They usually work under RN and in some cases LPN or LVN. They mostly assist aged persons with daily living activities that can include serving or feeding them, transfer from wheelchairs or beds, toileting, answering calls at nights, cleaning and making beds.
Professional counsellors - These are experts who take time to talk to the skilled nursing facility residents, helping them get over tough times.
Recreational staff - They typically include an activity director and, in some cases, assistants depending on the size of the nursing home. The professionals are in charge of coming up with activities that meet the nursing home residents’ physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, vocational and social needs. These are important as they help to combat anxiety and depression. Some popular events that elders may take part in while residing in a skilled nursing facility include joining book clubs, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, discussion groups, musical events, arts and crafts, exercise, community outings, religious services and volunteer opportunities.
Housekeeping - Their main duties revolve around the upkeep of the nursing homes. They play an important role in making sure that skilled nursing facilities are spotless and free of agents that cause disease. They normally have a long list of duties that may include sanitizing rooms, cleaning floors, disinfecting bathrooms, changing towels and linen, laundry, dusting, polishing, replenishing supplies, vacuuming and keeping woodwork and windows clean.
Kitchen Staff - Some long-term care facilities have expert kitchen staff on-site. These may include a professional chef who prepares healthy meals for all the residents depending on their needs. Cooks may work also work with professional nutritionists or dieticians.
Administration - this is normally an executive director or nursing home administrator who oversee the operations of the skilled nursing facility. Duties may include providing medical supplies, overseeing staff and financial matters. They have to make sure that the elder care facility they are running comply with all state and federal legislatures, adhering to strict standards of care plans, building codes, nutrition, dietary services, nursing care, personal care, pets, recreational programs, spiritual and religious practices, behavior and altercations between occupants.
What Accommodation Options Will I Find in a Nursing Home Near Me?
Skilled nursing facilities strive to offer a welcoming, safe, comfortable and supportive homes for the elderly. Some long-term care homes are set up to look like hospitals. These usually have dorm-like accommodations where a few residents can share a living space.
Senior citizens can also opt to live in nursing homes with private rooms, similar to senior citizen housing complexes, if this is within their preference sand budget. These nursing care facilities mostly try to offer inhabitants a homelier feel. Such facilities may not have fixed day to day schedules, and kitchens may be open to some residents.
How Much Do Nursing Homes Near Me Cost?
Staying at nursing care homes does not come cheap. Why are nursing homes so expensive you may ask? It is probably because they specialize in providing the most extensive care that retirees can receive outside of hospital. For instance, occupants will most likely be bedridden or using wheelchairs. How much you or your loved one will end up paying depends on a couple of factors like:
- The type of nursing home
- Type of skilled nursing care received
- Basic fees that cover daily costs like laundry, meals, utilities, cleaning, basic telecommunications and some personal care.
- The type of accommodations – private vs shared
- Geographical location
Last year, monthly charges at a certified nursing home were approximately $8120 per month for a private room and around $7150 per month for a semi-private room. The rates could be much higher where a resident could end up paying as much as $10,000 every month.
How Can I Pay for Local Nursing Homes?
Depending on a resident’s financial capacity, aging individuals have the option of either using private or public funds to pay for skilled nursing care facilities. Payment solutions available include:
- Use of Personal Funds
Many people start by paying privately first. This is where they can use savings, income, annuities, reverse mortgage, renting out properties and other investments to cover the cost of nursing homes. Because nursing and convalescent care is usually costly, it is normally not a sustainable option for all. This is the reason people move to other funding sources such as Medicare.
Some older adults prefer to use their insurance policies to cover the costs of nursing care. There are several options to work with when working with this option. One is to surrender the policy to the provider. The agency can give you up to 75% of the face value. If this does not work for you, look for a life settlement company that buys the policies. Such companies normally pay premiums until policyholder dies. There is also an option of converting life insurance to work as life assurance. This comes with an investment portfolio and savings guarantee. The advantages and drawbacks vary. Talk to your financial advisor to identify the best way forward.
- Paying for Nursing Homes with Medicaid and Medicare
Medicaid and Medicare are both tax-payer funded programs that help out older adults who need financial assistance to pay for nursing care. Only persons who have significant financial need can benefit from the program.
Medicare normally works well for patients who require medical care for short periods. Medicaid, on the other hand, mostly covers custodial care. An elderly person can apply for both options at the same time. Eligibility criteria for Medicare nursing home coverage demand that one:
- Stays in a hospital for three nights or even longer
- Requires rehabilitative or skilled nursing care under physician’s orders
- Moves to a nursing community within 30 days of hospital stay
With Medicaid, it normally pays for long-term personal care like help with daily living tasks such as dressing, taking a bath and eating. The program is partly state-run which means that the benefits and eligibility requirements normally vary in different states.
- Veterans Benefits
VA or Veterans Administration also helps seniors pay for nursing care. This, however, only caters to a specific population of people who have served in the military and their spouses. It is best to visit one of the VA offices to find out how the program works and who is eligible so that you can know if you can apply for it or not.
Finding the best nursing homes near you is difficult, but not impossible. Use our skilled nursing facility guide above as well as our nursing home locator to find the ideal long-term care facility in your area.