Questions to Ask When Looking at Skilled Nursing Facilities
Skilled nursing facilities, which are often referred to as nursing homes, provide inpatient services for those who need around the clock assistance, but don’t require hospital level care. These facilities have doctors and nurses on staff, but the main focus is typically on custodial care that addresses everyday needs. This type of facility is often needed after a serious illness or injury, and provides the care and therapy needed to help you or your loved one return home.
It is important to understand that not all stays in skilled nursing facilities are long term. Instead, these locations provide valuable care that is designed to help you or your loved one return to a better, safer quality of life. While this is a difficult decision to make, there are some questions that you need to ask when considering skilled nursing facilities.
Does the Facility Have Experience Treating People With the Illness or Injury?
Find out if they have a history of caring for people with the illness or injury in question. Ask about the number of patients treated, and whether they have data available to show that they provide high quality care in these situations.
Do You Allow Patients to Use Their Own Doctor?
Some skilled nursing facilities may be close enough to your own doctor, but others may not. If the primary care doctor is unable to visit the facility, it’s important that you find out who will be taking over care during your stay.
What Methods or Pathways are Used to Address the Illness or Injury?
You will need to understand exactly how the facility will go about providing care for you or your loved one’s illness or injury. Advanced treatment (link to Understanding Palliative Care) that focuses on healing and improving strength and mobility should be your primary concern.
Are There Physical Therapist On-site?
Physical therapy is an important consideration when considering skilled nursing facilities. The ultimate goal is to improve you or your loved one’s ability to transition back into independent or assisted living, and therapy is one of the most important methods of making this happen.
How Often is Therapy Provided, and Who Provides It?
Continuous daily therapy will provide the most improvement to facilitate recovery. If there are several days in between therapy, this can increase the amount of time spent in skilled nursing facilities. It is also important to find out if the same therapist will handle the process, or if you or your loved one will have to adjust to a new person each time.
What is the protocol for emergencies or accidents?
You should always find out exactly how emergency situations or accidents are handled. You want a facility that will let you know about these situations as soon as they happen to ensure comfort and support.
Skilled nursing facilities (link to What to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Home) can play a major role in helping you or loved one return to your home after a serious injury or illness. Asking these questions will give you a better idea of the quality of care that the facility provides.
Tags: Nursing Homes
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