WHAT IS A NURSING HOME?
Growing old without adequate care is a bit riskier for everyone, while we may generally think of nursing homes as a place for the oldest and weakest citizens at the end of their lives, this isn’t necessarily the case. Nursing homes are used by many folks during periods of rehab. A nursing home also referred to as convalescent homes, old people homes, is a facility that provides care services for residents, catering to their medical as well as daily needs. This care is usually provided for a long period of time.
Nursing homes give a 24 hour supervision of their residents, monitoring their physical, social, emotional and health needs among others. These residential patients are majorly older adults, but they could also be patients convalescing from a serious injury, or a terminal illness among others. Essentially it covers people who cannot take care of themselves or who can’t do it effectively. These are persons who don’t really need to be in an hospital, for their recovery but still need the supervision and monitoring that would have been available in an hospital. For these persons, due to their need for constant supervision they can’t also be kept at home. In order words, it is the middle ground between hospital care and home care. It provides the required assistance in line with the needs of their residents.
These nursing homes have licensed and professional nurses as well as other medical personnel as are needed by the residents in their homes. While nursing homes predominantly provide long term care for their residents, some nursing homes provide short term care for their residents where necessary for rehabilitative purposes.
An interesting fact about nursing home is that nearly 70% of nursing homes are privately owned for-profit businesses, generally set up as Limited Liability Corporations, this is necessary inorder to shield ownership, that is, it makes it difficult for them sued. So you want to be careful when making your choice of nursing home. We will provide some information to help you later in this work.
ASSISTED LIVING VS NURSING HOME
Assisted living refers to apartments or housing facilities which serve the purpose of helping those in special need or want personal or medical care. This involves care options, tailored to one’s needs. Assisted living facilities essentially cover support for Activities of Daily Living (ADL) which may include bathing, cleaning, meals, medications etc. These facilities mainly serve senior citizens who in their advanced age may now need help in handling daily activities.
For example, routines such as medications especially with the variety a senior citizen may need; could easily prove complex for them. Assisted living could come in with supervision over such medications, making sure you do not forget which capsules to use and when to use them. Nursing homes on the other hand are different from assisted living in that they provide more intensive monitoring and supervision for patients. Also they are for patients with more serious health challenges or conditions than those assisted living will cover. These are among the differences between nursing homes and assisted living.
WHAT ARE THE SERVICES PROVIDED FOR BY NURSING HOMES?
Nursing homes offer the most extensive care a person can get outside a hospital. Nursing homes offer help with custodial care — like bathing, getting dressed, and eating — as well as skilled care, the skilled care is given by a registered nurse and includes medical monitoring and treatments. Skilled care also includes services provided by specially trained professionals, such as physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists. The services provided by nursing homes varies from facility to facility, it include:
- Room and board
- Monitoring of medication
- Personal care (including dressing, bathing, and toilet assistance)
- 24-hour emergency care
- Social and recreational activities
- board, including therapeutic or modified diets, as prescribed by a doctor
- pharmacy services
- physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology services, audiology services and dental services, on either a staff or fee-for-services basis, as prescribed by a doctor, administered by or under the direct supervision of a licensed and currently registered physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, qualified audiologist or registered dentist
WHEN DO I NEED A NURSING HOME?
It can be very confusing when one is considering when you or your loved one is in need of a nursing home. Here are a few indicators that you may need to get your loved one to a nursing home. First in the situation where your loved one nneds or is taking more of your time in overseeing their needs, especially with activities of daily living such as feeding, maintaining personal hygiene, bathing and the likes.
These in turn will begin to take from the amount of time you can put into your work and other things. This may be a signal that your loved one may need a nursing home. Also you want to consider the seriousness of your loved one’s health condition. Where it is a condition where the expertise of a professional medical personnel is needed to take care of them. For example, where your loved one with Alzheimer has begun to wander away from home or can’t find their way home themselves. In this kind of situation, a nursing home could be a worthy choice.
HOW DO YOU PAY FOR NURSING HOME CARE?
Now that you know you or your loved one needs a nursing home, the next issue is how to pay for it. There are several ways you can fund payment for your nursing home.
First you can pay for it yourself. Here you need to consider the fees the nursing home charges and whether you will be able to afford it conveniently. So its best to pick a nursing home that fits your finances, while providing the necessary quality of care for yourself or your loved one.
Medicaid is another platform for funding your nursing home bill, although this only available for low income earners who can no longer pay for their nursing home services. This means that for you to be able to use Medicaid, you have to have been paying for the care services personally before, and can no longer afford to do so. You need to check with the nearest health agency to you to find out about eligibility for the aid, as its requirement vary from state to state.
You can also consider funding your nursing home fees through Medicare, which is provided for senior citizens 65 and above, the insurance policy usually covers hospital care, for major and serious health conditions regardless of the patient’s income. However, Medicare can only be used for nursing homes services for no more than a hundred days. This form of sponsorship for nursing home services, will only be available if recommended by a doctor, after being discharged from hospital care. It is also important to note that this is available only where skilled care is needed. In the case of just custodial or supervisory care, Medicare will not cover such expenses.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A NURSING HOME?
Considering how important a nursing home will be to your health, or to the health of your loved one, you need to ensure you pick the best nursing home that fits your needs. Here a few fundamental things to consider before choosing your nursing home.
First, you want to have a good grasp of nursing homes available near you. You need to acquaint yourself with online directories that provide accurate information on quality nursing homes. There are sites that rank services offered by this nursing homes allowing you to make the best choice for yourself or your loved one.
Next you should to consider the care services that you will need the nursing home to provide for you. What are the activities you find difficult to do? These could be issues with remembering the medications to use, and how to use them, maintaining your hygiene and the likes.
FINDING A NURSING HOME NEAR YOU
In other to help you find the best nursing home for you, we have compiled a list to help you achieve this goal. Check them here.