What is Skilled Nursing?

May-7-2015

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Understanding when it's time for a loved one to enter a skilled nursing community is a crucial part in a caregiver's role. While it is not an easy decision, making the move to a community that offers skilled nursing is often the best decision for both a caregiver and their loved one. It's equally important to research skilled nursing communities before you find yourself and your loved one in need of the additional assistance. Let our team of caring medical professionals at The Creekside Community help you through the process of understanding when skilled nursing is the right step to take.

What is Skilled Nursing?

Skilled nursing refers to a nursing home that has around the clock care provided by a registered nurse or physician. Individuals that enter skilled nursing care are often unable to receive adequate care from either a caregiver or assisted living services. This does not mean that a caregiver is not doing their best to care for a loved one, it only means the care needed is out of their expertise.When a caregiver is no longer medically qualified, this is the point where skilled nursing may be prescribed.

This is where registered nurses, physicians and care specialists are available to assist individuals at all hours of the day wherever and whenever skilled nursing is needed. The community medical staff is able to communicate effectively with physicians and hospital staff where a resident has recently moved from.

Services Provided By Skilled Nurses

Services provided may vary slightly in different communities, but are similar for the most part. Medical professionals, such as occupational and physical therapists, are available to work with patients on site for a variety of needs. Whether an individual is recovering from a surgery or illness or is seeking care before having a major surgery, skilled nursing programs are available to help. Both short-term and long-term residents will find the same level of care from a skilled nursing home.

Caregivers found at skilled nursing communities include but are not limited to the following medical professionals:

  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech Pathologists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Recreational Therapists
  • Registered Nurses
  • Quality Care Coordinators

The care provided by these professionals allows residents to receive individualized and goal- oriented care that they may not otherwise find without skilled nursing.

Skilled Nursing Care vs. Assisted Living

While the terms are often used interchangeably, skilled nursing and assisted living communities provide unique services for their residents. Deciding between a skilled nursing community and an assisted living residence can be difficult, but is remarkably significant. While assisted living is right for some, it may not provide enough care for everyone.

Assisted living communities typically offer some medical oversight, but not around-the-clock medical supervision and care found at skilled nursing communities. Skilled nursing homes provide the next level of care for individuals that need additional assistance from a licensed medical professional.

Short-term Skilled Nursing Rehabilitation

Keep in mind that skilled nursing care is also provided on a short-term basis. If an individual is recovering from a surgery and is in need of additional care, short-term care is an excellent option to help them gain back their independence. Often brought on by an injury or illness, a skilled nursing home will help an individual with daily activities until their services are no longer needed. Short term skilled nursing is also provided before surgery to make sure patients are strong enough to endure an upcoming surgery. This is called "pre-hab"..

When is Skilled Nursing the Right Choice?

Thankfully, the decision to move a loved one to a skilled nursing community doesn't have to be up to you. Your family physician will be the one to prescribe the level of care that is needed. Choosing which community is right for you is often the most difficult part. . Take the time to understand the needs of your loved one in order to find the best living situation possible. If you're wondering what level of care is necessary, consider asking yourself and loved ones several of the following questions.

  • Does the senior need around-the-clock care?
  • Is the caregiver qualified to administer medical care?
  • As a caregiver, have you wondered if your loved one's needs surpass the care you are available to provide?

If you find that you've answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to look into finding a skilled nursing home for your loved one.

With private and companion suites overlooking our landscaped courtyards and garden areas, those receiving long- or short-term skilled nursing care can participate in their rehabilitation, recover or reside in comfort overlooking Creekside's beautiful natural surroundings. Learn more about the specific skilled nursing services offered at Creekside.