HOW TO GUIDE 2013
HOW TO GUIDE 2013
CHOOSE A SKILLED NURSING FACILITY
Skilled care helps a person get better, function more independently and learn to take care of personal health needs.
Important Points... • Ask for Surveys. The facility may have the results of a recent survey done by federal or state surveyors. You should be able to look at it. • Stagger Your Visit. Staffing can be different during different days and times. Revisit the facility to experience new staff. • Attend a Meeting. Ask a staff member if you can attend a family or resident council meeting. • Check with Your Insurance. It may go without saying, but you should definitely know how your insurance intends to work with you on covering skilled nursing facility stays.
The healing and rehabilitation of a loved one, or even yourself, can be a long and tedious process. That’s why there are facilities that specialize in taking patients from an injured or impaired state to living normal, healthy lives. Skilled care is health care that’s provided when you or a loved one need a professional nursing or rehabilitation staff to treat, manage, observe and evaluate care. This is referred to as a skilled nursing facility, as opposed to a facility where care can be administered by non-trained or nonprofessional staff. Skilled care requires a specially trained nursing or rehabilitative staff because patients are usually undergoing intensive rehabilitative or end of life treatment. Staff could include registered nurses, licensed practical and vocational nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and audiologists. The facility will probable be part of a nursing home or hospital, offer short-term and long-term care and be fully or partially covered by insurance. Most of these facilities focus on improving the quality of life for those they serve through various health services, such as orthopedic, neurological, cardiac, pulmonary and wound care. There are also options for other medically complex diagnoses. You or a loved one may want to consider a skilled nursing facility because the doctor recommends it, to help improve an existing condition, or to maintain a current condition and prevent it from getting worse. If your doctor recommends long- or short-term care, ask him or her for a list of facilities in the area that may be a good fit. If you’ve been in an accident or are researching for a friend or family member, you can start your search online and begin scheduling tours. Most facilities offer free consultations and walkthroughs for new patients. Skilled care helps patients get better, function more independently and even incorporate family members in setting and maintaining health goals. Types of therapies A skilled nursing facility should support your doctor’s clinical care with a full
Improving physical fitness can lead to dramatic improvements in quality of life. spectrum of specialized services. Interdisciplinary teams are trained to work together to provide patients with comprehensive care to restore and maintain quality of life through times of injury and illness. Most facilities will serve a large number of patients with multiple kinds and levels of diagnoses – both clinical and acute. Whatever the condition, the type of treatment will probably fall under one of these: Occupational therapy: Occupational therapists generally work under orders set by a physician to help restore or maintain the patient’s ability to manage activities of daily life. This could include things as simple as eating, bathing, dressing and cleaning. Patients receive an individualized course of therapy based on close, personal observations of the patient’s strength, coordination and range of motion. Physical therapy: Physical therapists are licensed professionals who may or may not work in conjunction with doctors and nurses to help patients restore lost strength, mobility, coordination and balance. Exercise is an important part of getting better and physical therapists will develop a plan that incorporates a variety of rehabilitative approaches and equipment. The goal may be to build muscle mass, improve bone density or increase stamina to encourage overall health. Improving physical fitness can lead to dramatic improvements in quality of life. You will be able to do more without getting tired, plus exercise has been linked to decreased instances of depression and mood swings in people of all ages. Whether you or a family member have experienced a stroke or an accident, physical therapy can help get patients back on track to an active life.
Speech therapy: Many patients in skilled nursing facilities have suffered from neurological damage because of a stroke, an accident or even surgery from cancer in the jaw or neck. The goal is to work with other health care professionals to restore the lost ability to speak or eat. Patients may have to relearn how to swallow or retrain the mouth, lips and tongue to cooperate for clear speech. Outpatient rehabilitation: Some facilities will offer outpatient rehabilitation to continue their work after they’ve returned home. This allows patients to experience continuity of care so there are fewer relapses. They can work with the same therapists and doctors for continued success. It may also be that the patient never needed to stay onsite to begin with. Transitional rooms: Transitional rooms are an extension of a therapy program meant to help patients transition back to living at home and taking care of themselves. The rooms are set up as small apartments with dining rooms, kitchens and bedrooms to help patients practice everyday activities in a real life environment. If this model interests you, ask the nursing facilities on your list about these or similar programs. Feeling comfortable For short- or long-term care, or even outpatient services, you and your family should feel comfortable in the skilled nursing facility. As you conduct your research and start scheduling interviews, look for programs and amenities you care about, such as: • Rehabilitation (physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy) • Restorative exercise programs • Alternative therapies, if desired • Clinical care, ranging from Alzheimer’s and dementia to orthopedic care to pain management • Amenities ranging from beauty salons to fine dining to movie theaters During your visit, don’t be afraid to ask questions and take a good look around you. Do people seem happy? Is the facility clean and organized? Are the personnel able to answer your questions? It may take a while to find the right fit, but it will be worth it.
Rehabilitation Services Right Here in Merced
Hy-Lond Health Care Center - Merced 3170 M Street | 209-723-1056 Franciscan Convalescent Hospital 3169 M Street | 209-722-6231 Short-term Care U Long-term Care U Physical Therapy U Occupational Therapy U Speech Therapy UÊ24 Hour Nursing Care U
Call or visit us today! We embrace a reverence for life, and a heart for healing.
National Award Winner
Quality American Health Care Association
Published on Feb 21, 2013