Skilled Nursing

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What Is Skilled Nursing Care?

The terms “assisted living” and “nursing home” tend to be used interchangeably; however, they are different.

A nursing home is a physical place where residents either benefit from skilled nursing care or assisted living.

Assisted living is suitable for seniors who would benefit from help with activities of daily living (ADL) but who are not in a situation where they need constant nursing care. Examples of ADLs are dressing, bathing, eating, getting to bed, and being reminded about medication.

When we talk about skilled nursing care, we refer to patients who require care or treatment that can be administered only by licensed nurses. This care type is provided in assisted living communities, hospitals, nursing homes, Life Plan Communities, and other certified locations. In the U.S., skilled nursing, for the most part, is regulated by the U.S. Department of Health and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Strict criteria need to be met for skilled nursing communities to be CMS-certified. This, periodic inspections are carried out to ensure that all standards are being met.

The Various Types Of Skilled Nursing Care

Suppose you or one of your dear ones has suffered a stroke or had surgery or extensive treatment related to heart, kidney, or respiratory conditions. In that case, rehabilitation in a skilled nursing community may be needed after release from the hospital. When a physician prescribes specialized therapies, such as physical therapy, medical equipment, and social services, to help your loved one regain their health, medicare pays for the skilled nursing services. However, to be able to qualify for this, the professional nursing community needs to be Medicare-certified.

Physical Therapy:

Following surgery, hospitalization, or an illness, the rehab care team creates a personalized plan with the best outcome as the goal.

Occupational Therapy:

Able to help with barriers that affect a person’s emotional, social, and physical needs. To do this, they use everyday activities, exercises, and other therapies.

Speech Therapy:

Treats swallowing dysfunction and communication problems. A treatment plan is created by speech and language pathologists to aid language ability, consider alternate communication strategies and provide diet recommendations.

Therapy can provide a significant range of medical services in skilled nursing communities: wound care, injections, medical equipment, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and vital signs monitoring.

The skilled nursing staff is made up of the following:

• Medical directors
• Speech and language pathologists
• Audiologists
• Registered nurses
• Vocational nurses (licensed)
• Practical nurses (licensed)

In addition, a transfer arrangement with a hospital has to be in place to cover cases where residents need emergency treatment.

Helpful Things To Consider When Choosing Skilled Nursing

1. What were your first impressions of the facility?
2. Is the smell and appearance clean?
3. Do the staff greet the residents by name and with a warm smile?
4. Do the residents appear happy and cared for?
5. Are you able to picture your loved one here?


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