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What exactly is skilled nursing care?

Often mistaken for nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities provide expert transitional care from the hospital, as well long-term care support for those with ongoing medical needs. Our skilled communities offer 24-hour nursing care support, assistance with daily activities and therapy rehabilitation under the supervision of healthcare professionals.

illustration of caregiver and skilled patient

Premiere patient-centered care.

Being hospitalized after a serious injury or illness can be traumatizing and may require therapy and rehabilitation before safely returning home. That’s where Senior Care Centers’ skilled nursing home facilities come in. We offer personalized care that’s tailored to your individual needs. Working as a team, our professional caregivers and therapists provide a combination of therapy and nursing care support to help you achieve your recovery goals.

Short-term Care

For short-term stays, our goal is simple – we want to help you become stronger, healthier and on the right path to your next level of care! As your transitional care partner, we believe in providing patient-centered care that starts from the moment you are admitted. You will discover that our skilled nursing communities offer on-site therapy and rehabilitation, allowing you to focus on regaining lost strength, restoring normal range of motion and increasing independence when possible. Within your first 24-hours, you’ll be greeted by our on-site therapy team to discuss your needs and recovery goals. Having therapy at the facility allows you to concentrate solely on regaining lost strength, restoring normal range of motion and increasing your overall independence. Whether you require specialized care, such as wound care management, tracheostomy care or stroke recovery care, our facilities have all the resources to help you recover and return home as quickly as possible.

Long-term Care (LTC)

In addition to providing restorative short-term therapy, we also offer personalized long-term care for residents who need 24/7 monitoring and medical support. Residents can be confident knowing they have assistance with daily activities such as bathing, getting dressed or eating and access to a bedside emergency call button. Our long-term care services offer much more than just compassionate care. We strive to create a comfortable and engaging community with many of the comforts of home.

If you are looking for care for yourself or a loved one, we can help! Feel free to give us a call anytime or view our interactive map to find a community near you.

When is skilled care needed?

When a family member is unable to provide the necessary care for a loved one, the responsible decision is to choose a setting where that individual’s unique needs can be met. Skilled nursing is often a source of transitional care and is the ideal choice for those who can not go home following a hospitalization. With round-the-clock medical support and frequent therapy, skilled nursing care primarily focuses on helping patients heal and recover from an injury, illness or surgery. Skilled nursing care is appropriate for multiple scenarios:

  • Transitional Care Following a Hospital Stay
  • Rapidly Declining Health
  • Persistent or Non-healing Wounds
  • Stroke Recovery
  • Joint Replacement Therapy (Hip, Knee or Wrist)
  • Respiratory Care
  • Diabetic Rehabilitation 
  • Palliative Care
  • And Other Acute Medical Conditions 

Benefits of a skilled nursing facility

  • 24/7 nursing care and support – Skilled nursing facilities must have 24/7 teams available to take care of the patients and residents. These teams include licensed nurses, nursing assistants, activity directors, social workers and a number of volunteers and others who are on-site all the time to make sure everyone stays safe and receives the care they need.
  • Medicare / Medicaid certified – SNFs accept Medicare, Medicaid and a number of insurance carriers to pay for services. Most facilities will help you check your benefits and help guide you on the best options to help pay for your care.
  • Increased social interaction and support – Activity directors try to make the atmosphere lively during your recovery. Most plan a wide variety of activities including parties, games, church services and other fun events. Patients and residents are encouraged to get out of their rooms and enjoy socializing with their peers with fun and engaging activities.
  • Highly skilled healthcare services – Memory care, tracheostomy care and special dietary needs are just a few of the highly skilled healthcare services that SNFs may offer. Check with the SNFs in your area to see if they offer exactly the services you need now and the ones you may need as your condition progresses.

Typical skilled nursing facility services

You can think of a SNF as an extension of a hospital, with advanced clinical capabilities to accommodate most complex care patients. Many of Senior Care Centers’ skilled nursing communities provide specialized services such as stroke rehabilitation, orthopedic rehabilitation, pain management, cardio-pulmonary rehab and much more. Additional services may include: 

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • IV Therapy
  • Respite Care
  •  Wound Care Management
  • Tracheostomy Care
  • Memory Care

Choosing the right community

Every skilled nursing facility is unique and offers different types of care and expertise. It’s not uncommon for some facilities to specialize in long-term care while others may be known for their exceptional post-hospital care. Before selecting your community, it’s best to consider these details. 

  • Staff responsiveness – Take note of how the employees respond when you are on a tour and consider the potential chemistry with the administration and caregivers you meet. Note how other patients and residents are treated as you tour. Their passion for their work may sway you over some of the other more objective factors.
  • Proximity to loved ones – While being close by to loved ones is always a priority, you should keep in mind what services the facility offers. You may have to travel slightly further to ensure the right type of care is available. Being close to friends and family can help maintain your normal activities or at least create some new traditions together in their new home.
  • Regulatory history – SNFs are regulated heavily, and as such, their health inspection reports, staffing levels and complaints are well documented and available online. You can see what star rating every facility has been given by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a quick snapshot. However, take these reports with a grain of salt as they are just a single snapshot in time and may not accurately reflect the true quality of life in a facility.

When touring a potential facility be sure to bring up these important questions.

  • Does the community offer therapy services on-site?
  • Does the community offer any advanced clinical services?
  • Is the community designed for long-term care, short-term stays, or both?
  • How is the meal and dining experience?
  • How friendly and accessible are the caregivers/staff?
  • Are patients and families involved in the care plan process?

What is the cost of Skilled Nursing?

Knowing the true cost associated senior care can be difficult for many older adults and their families. To help you better understand, we’ll break it down into two categories — short-term rehabilitation and long-term care.

Short-term Rehab Costs

If you’ve been hospitalized after a serious injury or illness, you may require therapy and rehabilitation at a rehabilitation center before safely returning home. Skilled nursing short-term rehab costs are usually funded by Medicare or private insurance, covering up to 100 days of inpatient rehab if the patient continues to meet the criteria. The first 20 days are usually paid in full by Medicare, with a daily co-pay amount beginning on Day 21. For 2019, that co-pay amount is $170.50. Medicare will not pay for a private room or private nursing unless medically necessary.

While Medicare covers up to 100 days of skilled nursing care if you continue to meet Medicare requirements, our goal is always to help you return home as soon as possible.

Long-term Care Costs

For those who require 24/7 long-term care and support, we strive to create a comfortable, engaging and stress-free home, focused on enhancing each resident’s quality of life. The cost of long-term care depends largely on the duration and type of care the resident needs, community accommodations and location. Since Medicare coverage is quite limited and does not cover care beyond 100 days, most seniors pay for long-term care out of pocket, with national costs averaging around $225 a day. For those with limited income, Medicaid may be an option to cover costs. Medicaid approved residents may still have to cost share based on their income. Their actual amount owed will be set by the state upon approval.

As your long-term care partner, our business office can help you go over your financial options, including care costs, private room rates or applying for Medicaid Pending assistance.

Home health vs. skilled nursing care

The decision to move from your established home to a skilled nursing or assisted living community can be challenging for many older adults to make. You’ve built a home with a lifetime of memories that you are not ready to leave. While many seniors prefer to “age in place” at home, that’s not always a feasible option. Turning to family and loved ones could be a good option, but could quickly become a burden on them, as they need to manage their own lives. Depending on health and mobility staying at home can come with a number of risks and challenges:

  • Potential for falls – Being at risk for a fall and unable to call for help would be one of the known risks. A personal alert system can help mitigate this risk.
  • Forgetting medication – Managing our medications can get confusing if we don’t have someone to sort through the different quantities and times we need to take them.
  • Missing meals – Preparing meals regularly also can become a burden when we just are cooking for one, so skipping meals would be another risk.
  • Isolation and Loneliness – While we may tell ourselves that we enjoy the peace and quiet, social interaction can be a welcome respite all its own.