The Definition of Skilled Nursing
Skilled nursing facilities, also known as nursing homes or healthcare centers, are residential facilities where individuals receive a high level of care and assistance following an injury, surgery, illness or to help manage chronic conditions. A full complement of healthcare services are offered, including a combination of therapies and professional medical care. These services may be necessary for the short term to help individuals return to the level of independence and lifestyle they’re accustomed to. Or, skilled care be required over the long term for those who need around-the-clock care due to a chronic medical condition.
Often, residents are transferred to a skilled nursing center following a hospital stay. They may not be quite ready to return home and may still need some assistance and therapy before getting back to their normal lifestyle.
Some of the most common reasons older adults require skilled care include:
- Recovering from a fall
- Joint replacement surgery, such as hip or knee replacement
- Stroke or heart attack recovery
- Worsening progressive diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
Skilled Nursing Care: What to Expect
A team of medical professionals including physicians, registered nurses and therapists provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care, therapy and other services designed to improve quality of life and aid in recovery. These residents generally require a higher level of care than that found in an assisted living community.
Some of the common therapies and services residents receive in a skilled nursing center include:
- Physical Therapy: The goal of physical therapy is to help decrease pain while improving strength, endurance and restoring functionality.
- Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapists help residents restore their ability to perform various life tasks, like cooking and getting dressed to ensure they become as self-sufficient as possible.
- Speech and Language Therapy: This form of therapy focuses on improving speech, comprehension and oral motor skills to ensure residents can effectively communicate, as well as provide strategies for safe eating.
- Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): Residents receive help with personal tasks above and beyond medical care, like bathing and eating.
- Medication Management: An essential part of skilled care is to ensure medication is managed properly and administered at the right time each day.
- Wound Care: Registered nurses provide antibiotics and clean wounds to prevent any infections from occurring.
Additionally, residents at a skilled nursing facility also have the opportunity to take part in an array of social activities and events to keep them engaged with others and the world around them.
Choosing a Skilled Nursing Facility
When choosing a skilled nursing facility for a loved one, it’s important to keep in mind that each facility is unique and may provide different levels of care. For example, some may only offer short-term care and rehabilitation, so if your loved one requires a longer stay this type of facility will most likely not meet your needs.
Additionally, if possible, it’s recommended to visit a few skilled nursing facilities in person and speak to the staff and residents. Take note of the demeanor of the staff and residents – do residents seem happy and comfortable? Are the staff members courteous, helpful and knowledgeable? Check out the accommodations to make sure the rooms are well-equipped with things like adequate lighting, grab bars and non-skid flooring.
The more information you have about your loved one’s condition, the better you will be at finding the perfect fit for your needs.
High-Quality Skilled Nursing Care from Springpoint Senior Living
Springpoint Senior Living communities offer expert, around-the-clock skilled care in a comforting environment. Our team of professional physicians, nurses and therapists create a personalized plan of care to nurture the mind, body and spirit of all our skilled nursing residents. Plus, residents enjoy the same services and amenities offered on-site at each of our communities, like engaging social activities, daily meals and so much more.