When considering a nursing home, it is important to look into the health care, pricing, and, ultimately, what it offers. Many facilities provide advanced care when it comes to home health. Can a nursing home offer the same care to your family members as they do to all their patients? Visiting nursing home care facilities is important to ensure it captures everything you are looking for.
Visits to a nursing home are extremely important, and learning what their community can offer will also help you determine if it’s the right fit for you and your family member.
What is an Assisted Living Facility?
An assisted living facility is a type of residential care facility that assists with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, medication management, and mobility. Assisted living facilities are designed to meet the needs of people who require some level of support with their daily activities but do not need the round-the-clock medical care provided in a nursing home.
Offering a range of services, including:
- Personal care assistance, such as help with bathing, dressing, and grooming
- Medication management and reminders
- Transportation to appointments and activities
- Three meals a day and snacks
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Social and recreational activities
- 24-hour security and emergency call systems
Assisted living facilities are typically more expensive than independent living facilities, but they offer a higher level of support and assistance for residents. They may be a good option for people who need help with ADLs but want to maintain their independence and continue living in a residential setting.
What are the Services that Nursing Homes Offer?
Nursing homes typically offer a variety of services and activities for residents, including:
- Medical care: Most nursing homes have a physician, nurses, and other healthcare professionals on staff to provide medical care to residents. This may include regular check-ups, medication management, and treatment for illnesses and injuries.
- Rehabilitation and therapy: Many nursing homes offer rehabilitation and therapy services to help residents recover from injuries, surgeries, and other medical conditions. These services may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
- Social and recreational activities: Nursing homes often have a calendar of social and recreational activities for residents to participate in. These may include group exercise classes, art and craft projects, music therapy, and outings to local attractions.
- Meals: Nursing homes typically provide residents with three meals daily and snacks. Meals are usually served in a central dining room, but residents may also have the option to have meals delivered to their rooms.
- Housekeeping and laundry services: Nursing homes usually provide housekeeping and laundry services to residents. This can include cleaning residents’ rooms and washing their clothes and linens.
- Family gatherings and holiday dinners: Many nursing homes host family gatherings and holidays for residents and their loved ones. These events may be held in a common area or individual rooms, depending on the size of the group and the nursing home’s policies.
- Religious services: Some nursing homes offer religious services and other spiritual activities for interested residents. These may include church services, Bible study groups, and other spiritual programs.
How to Know a Nursing Home is the Right Option
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether a nursing home is the right option for you or a loved one. Here are a few things to consider:
- Medicaid services: If you or a loved one are eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to use Medicaid to pay for nursing home care. It’s a good idea to check with Medicaid to see what services are covered and to find out if the nursing home you are considering is a Medicaid-approved facility.
- Disease control: It’s important to choose a nursing home with measures to prevent the spreading of diseases and infections. This may include frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common areas, proper hand hygiene practices, and COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs.
- Other residents: It can be helpful to visit the nursing home and meet some other residents to get a sense of the community. Are the residents engaged and active, or do they seem isolated and depressed? Is the nursing home staff respectful and attentive to the needs of the residents? These are all things to consider when evaluating a nursing home.
- Quality of care: Quality care is critical when choosing a nursing home. It’s a good idea to research the nursing home’s staffing levels and ratings and reviews from residents, families, and regulatory agencies. You can also ask the nursing home about its policies and procedures for addressing concerns or complaints from residents and families.
Ultimately, the right nursing home for you or a loved one will depend on your individual needs and preferences. It’s important to research and visit several nursing homes to find the one that best meets your needs.
What is the Skilled Nursing Care Benefits?
Skilled nursing care refers to medical care provided by licensed healthcare professionals such as nurses, therapists, and other medical staff. Skilled nursing care can be provided in various settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and home health care.
There are several benefits to skilled nursing care, including:
- Expert medical care: Skilled nursing care is provided by trained and licensed healthcare professionals with the knowledge and expertise to provide high-quality medical care. This can be especially important for people with complex medical conditions requiring specialized treatment.
- Rehabilitation and therapy: Skilled nursing care can include rehabilitation and therapy services, which can help people recover from injuries, surgeries, and other medical conditions. These services may include physical, occupational, speech, and other types of rehabilitation.
- Medication management: Skilled nursing care can include medication management and education, which can help people understand their medications and ensure that they are taking them correctly. This can be especially important for people with multiple medications or those who have trouble remembering to take them.
- Support with activities of daily living (ADLs): Skilled nursing care may include assistance with ADLs such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. This can be helpful for people who have difficulty performing these tasks due to age, disability, or other medical conditions.
- Coordination of care: Skilled nursing care can help coordinate care between different healthcare providers and ensure that all of a person’s medical needs are met. This can be especially important for people with complex medical conditions receiving care from multiple healthcare providers.
5 Tips for Visiting Nursing Homes
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when visiting a nursing home:
- Plan your visit: Before you visit, it’s a good idea to call the nursing home and ask about their visiting policies and any COVID-19 guidelines that are in place. Some nursing homes may restrict the number of visitors or require visitors to wear masks and follow other safety measures.
- Make time for the visit: Try to plan your visit when the resident is likely to awake and alert. Avoid visiting during meal times or when the resident has other activities or appointments scheduled.
- Bring something to talk about: It can be helpful to bring family photos, news articles, or other items that you can discuss with the resident. This can stimulate conversation and make the visit more enjoyable for both of you.
- Be respectful of the nursing home’s rules and regulations: Follow any guidelines or rules that the nursing home has in place, such as wearing a mask or washing your hands. Remember that these measures are in place to protect the residents’ and staff’s health and safety.
- Ask about the resident’s needs and preferences: Ask the resident if there is anything they need or would like you to bring to them on your visit. This could be items like books, magazines, or favorite snacks.
- Be mindful of the resident’s physical and emotional well-being: Remember that residents in nursing homes may be dealing with physical and emotional challenges. Be patient and understanding if the resident is having a difficult day, and try to offer support and encouragement.
How to Make Your Visit More Memorable
Here are a few ideas for making your nursing home visit more memorable:
- Bring something special: Consider bringing the resident a small gift or special treat. This could be something as simple as their favorite candy or a bouquet.
- Share a hobby or activity: If you have a shared hobby or activity, bring materials or equipment to do it together during your visit. This could be drawing, painting, knitting, or playing a board game.
- Play music or watch a movie: Bring a portable speaker or device and play some of the resident’s favorite music or watch a movie together.
- Have a picnic: If the weather is nice and the nursing home has outdoor space, consider having a picnic together. Bring some sandwiches, drinks, and snacks to enjoy.
- Take a walk or do an outdoor activity: If the resident can take a walk together or do an outdoor activity such as gardening or birdwatching.
- Write a letter or create a memory book: Consider writing a letter or creating a memory book for the resident. This can be a special way to share your memories and thoughts with them.
- Take photos: Bring a camera or smartphone and take photos together during your visit. These photos can be a special way to remember your time together.
It’s important to remember that nursing home residents may have physical or cognitive limitations, so it’s important to plan activities that are appropriate for their abilities. It’s also good to check with the nursing home staff to ensure your plans are allowed under their policies.
The Important Part of what a Nursing Home Serve
In some extreme cases, residents need assisted living because of a traumatic brain injury or illness that is running its course. The most common reason for assisted living is for dementia residents.
The important thing to remember as the caretaker is that the focus and support must go to the loved one. Whether your parent or another loved one needs the care. Home health is important, so ensuring that you schedule the next visit and design the resident rooms just right, the quality is there.
Remember to bring items they might want to keep close. Seek reassurance from all the doctors, flu shots, and community members there to help. Talk with your loved one regularly, so they don’t feel left out. Lastly, make sure your feelings are expressed.