As we age, many seniors begin to require regularly scheduled medical care. Help is often provided by a skilled or registered nurse (RN) who is familiar with the patient’s physical needs. While some professionals use the terms “skilled nursing facility” and “nursing home” interchangeably, skilled nursing services may actually be provided in the comfort of your home, at an assisted living community, in a hospital, or at an inpatient facility such as Santé Transitional Rehabilitation Centers. If you’re unsure what type of care you’ll need, here are three factors that can help determine if a skilled nursing facility is right for you.
Recent Medical Issues: If you’ve had a serious illness or injury – for example, a heart attack, stroke or broken bones from a fall – you may need rehabilitation services. While home care can also address many of these issues, Santé facilities have on-site therapists and nurses to help with your recovery. If you’ve had a stroke, for example, you may undergo physical therapy to improve coordination and work with a speech language pathologist to help with language and speech problems. By staying in a facility, you will have round-the-clock access to nurses, doctors and other dedicated care workers who can assist in your recovery.
Need for Regular Daily Care: While a broken bone can heal and speech deficits be improved, some conditions require a longer-term approach. A skilled nursing facility provides 24-7 access to trained nurses and doctors who provide medical care specific to your situation. Skilled nurses can assist with IV therapies, administer medication, help with physical therapy and perform regular monitoring of vital signs and other health indicators. While some patients opt for home health care, many of those with regular daily medical needs prefer to stay in a facility where their medical needs can be taken care of at any time. With home care, there may be gaps between nursing visits or when a family member is the primary caretaker. If you are concerned about not having a nurse physically present at any time of the day or night, a care facility may be the best solution.
Assisted Living vs. Skilled Nursing Facility
Assisted Living offers the independence of home living, but with a higher level of monitoring and care. Residents generally have their own apartment or studio. This type of community works well for seniors that are mobile, yet require some help with activities of daily living, including dressing, bathing and transport. They may also require nursing and medical services provided by the community. One major difference between assisted living and a skilled nursing facility is that the latter provides round-the-clock care. Assisted living communities have limits on the types and availability of any medical care provided, while skilled nursing facilities can provide medical care at any given moment.
Selecting the right care option for yourself or a loved one is an important task. You want to make sure that your medical needs are met and you feel comfortable with the level of care you receive. Whether you choose home health care or skilled nursing in a clean and comfortable facility, rest assured that Santé’s caring and well-trained staff will help ease your transition. Call 480-563-2402 or visit one of our five Arizona care facilities to see if skilled nursing care is right for you.