Did you know that more than 96% of family caregivers who provide complex chronic care help their elderly family members with all of their daily activities?
That’s day-to-day engagement with a loved one’s personal hygiene, dressing, medication management, shopping, transportation, and so much more, which really emphasizes what a deeply rewarding yet challenging responsibility caregiving is. Visit Oxa Care if you’d like to know more about aged care services.
Still, as your loved one’s needs evolve, you may find yourself considering various care options.
One of these options is skilled nursing for seniors.
In this guide, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of what skilled nursing is, its benefits, potential drawbacks, and key considerations as you weigh this option for your elderly relative’s care.
Let’s get into it.
1. What is Skilled Nursing?
Skilled nursing, often referred to as nursing home care, is a level of care that provides 24-hour medical attention and assistance to seniors who require continuous monitoring, medical treatments, and support with daily activities.
This type of care is typically recommended for individuals with complex medical conditions, post-surgery recovery, or advanced age-related health issues.
2. Why Should You Consider Skilled Nursing for Seniors?
1. Expert Medical Care
Are you concerned about ensuring your elderly loved ones receive the best possible healthcare?
Perhaps you have a senior with mobility issues or cognitive impairments at home? Or maybe they have multiple medications to manage?
Skilled nursing facilities have you covered in any case.
Skilled nursing facilities employ registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants who are trained to provide expert medical care and administer medications as prescribed.
Rest assured, in these facilities, your seniors will be in capable hands, receiving the highest level of care and attention they deserve.
2. Tailored Care Plans
One of the greatest benefits of senior care facilities is that their residents benefit from personalized care plans that are meticulously tailored to their specific health needs.
This guarantees that they receive precisely the care and attention required for their well-being.
3. Enhanced Safety and Oversight
Skilled nursing facilities offer around-the-clock supervision and monitoring, significantly enhancing safety, especially for seniors who are at higher risk of accidents and falls due to their health issues.
Thanks to constant vigilance, these risks are reduced, and a swift response to emergencies is ensured, giving peace of mind to seniors and their families.
4. Comprehensive Therapeutic Services
Not all, but many skilled nursing facilities offer a wide range of therapeutic services, including:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Music therapy
- Recreational therapy
These services not only aid in rehabilitation but also contribute to an improved quality of life for seniors.
5. Optimized Nutritional Support
Seniors benefit from a well-balanced, nutritionally sound meal plan, with dietary needs carefully accommodated.
This optimized nutritional support is a key factor in helping them maintain and improve their health.
Now, why don’t we explore some important considerations when choosing a senior care facility to ensure your loved one receives such comprehensive care and support?
6. Social Engagement
The aging process brings a higher likelihood of medical issues and functional limitations.
It also often brings a feeling of social isolation.
Thankfully, skilled nursing facilities offer plenty of opportunities for social interaction and recreational activities, reducing feelings of isolation and improving mental well-being.
So, when it comes to ensuring the best care and quality of life for your senior loved ones, wouldn’t you want to consider the invaluable support and companionship that skilled nursing care for seniors can provide?
7. Considerations for Choosing Skilled Nursing
Before making your final decision, it’s always best to tour several skilled nursing facilities and compare their amenities, staff, and overall atmosphere.
Touring multiple facilities allows you to gain firsthand experience and insights into what each facility has to offer.
This way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision based on your observations and assessments, ensuring that the chosen facility aligns with your loved one’s specific needs, preferences, and the level of care they deserve.
If the cost of skilled nursing is one of your concerns, use the opportunity while on the tour to ask about each facility’s contract.
Carefully read and review it to familiarize yourself with the pricing structures, insurance coverage, services covered, and any additional expenses.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask the facility staff.
This isn’t limited only to questions about the financial aspects of skilled nursing but also includes questions about care plans, safety measures, and residents’ daily routines.
If possible, you can also talk to current residents and their families to gain insight into their experiences.
If not, verifying that the facility is licensed and checking its ratings with relevant government agencies or online platforms will also do the trick.
8. Main Concerns About Skilled Nursing for Seniors
Whichever skilled nursing facility you decide on, there are several things you should pay attention to.
For starters, you should be aware that seniors may take time to adjust to a new environment, so you must provide them with emotional support during this transition.
Some seniors worry about losing their independence, so it might be wise to discuss how their preferences and choices will be respected within the facility’s guidelines.
Other than that, shared living spaces may mean less privacy compared to other care options like assisted living or in-home care. You try to help your seniors ease the transition by ensuring their autonomy is respected throughout their stay.
Finally, seniors accustomed to living independently may experience social isolation if they don’t actively engage in facility activities or if the facility lacks a vibrant social environment.
For that reason, it’s best that you find a skilled nursing facility that isn’t far from the family’s home, so you can frequently visit and help your senior adapt to a facility’s schedule and routines.
9. Skilled Nursing for Seniors at Home: An Alternative to Facilities
While skilled nursing facilities are a common option for seniors needing specialized care, it’s important to note that skilled nursing services can also be provided in the comfort of their own homes.
This approach, known as home healthcare or home nursing care, offers several advantages for seniors and their families:
- For many seniors, their home is a place of comfort and familiarity. Skilled nursing at home allows them to receive the necessary medical care while staying in their environment. This can contribute to emotional well-being and a sense of independence.
- Home healthcare can be particularly beneficial during times of health crises, such as pandemics. Seniors who receive care at home may have a lower risk of exposure to contagious illnesses compared to those in communal living settings like nursing homes.
- Skilled nursing at home often encourages active involvement from family members. Family caregivers can collaborate with healthcare professionals to provide support and assistance, promoting a strong sense of teamwork in the care process.
- In some cases, home healthcare can be a cost-effective alternative to skilled nursing facilities. While costs may vary based on the level of care needed, seniors can avoid the expenses associated with residential facilities, such as room and board.
- Skilled nursing at home prioritizes helping seniors maintain their independence. The care plan is designed to cater to their unique needs and preferences, ensuring that they can continue to make choices about their daily routines.
However, it’s essential to consider that skilled nursing at home may not be suitable for all seniors.
Before deciding on skilled nursing at home, families should consult with healthcare professionals to assess the feasibility and appropriateness of this option.
They can help determine the level of care required and whether the home environment can adequately support the senior’s needs.
Skilled nursing for seniors can provide comprehensive medical care and support for your loved one.
However, when deciding on which skilled nursing option to choose, it’s essential to weigh the benefits against potential drawbacks and choose one that aligns with your family’s needs and values.
Remember that every senior’s situation is unique, so what works best for one may not be ideal for another.
By conducting thorough research and engaging in open communication with your loved one, you can make an informed decision that prioritizes their well-being and quality of life.