Nursing Home Care

  • What services are provided in a nursing home?

    Services may vary depending on the nursing home, but they generally include the following: nursing care and a physician either on staff or on call, therapies (occupational, physical, respiratory, and speech) provided as needed, social workers, daily hygiene services, nutritional support, meals, mobility services, laundry services, and recreational opportunities.

  • What medical services are provided at a nursing home?

    Medical services vary based on the location and the needs of the patients, but can include checking residents’ blood pressure, checking blood sugar in residents with diabetes, providing wound care, taking residents’ temperatures, and dispensing and monitoring medication.

  • How do I find the right nursing home?

    It’s important to ask the right questions so that you have a better understanding of what facilities are available. It’s also best to start looking as soon as possible, as the search for the right fit can take some time.

    Some questions you should ask are:

    What are the living areas like? What are the visiting hours? Are there adequately trained medical staff available 24 hours a day? How are emergencies responded to? Are the staff appropriately licensed? Do the residents appear to be well-taken care of? Do the staff seem interested in their jobs? Do the staff help the seniors with memory issues? Are the available recreational activities posted in a place where they’re easy to see?

What is Nursing Home Care?

Nursing Homes provide care for their residents 24/7. Nursing Homes are for our Seniors who need medical and personal care assistance. Seniors with high level medical needs or those with complex medical conditions find the help they need in nursing homes. Nursing Homes provide long-term care for Seniors who require skilled nursing care.

Nursing Homes are set up to enhance and/or maintain the physical, mental, and social well-being of Seniors who are in need of medical and personal care assistance. Nursing homes provide the most extensive personal care that you can receive independent of a hospital.

What Services are provided to the residents?

Even though services will vary from nursing home to nursing home most will provide the following:

  • Nursing care and a physician on staff and or on call.
  • PT, OT, Respiratory and Speech therapies are provided as needed or required.
  • A social worker, who is the liaison for the resident, their family and the staff of the home. They will help facilitates answers to questions and concerns the resident or family may have in regards to level of care. They will also mediate any issues that arise between residents.
  • Daily hygiene services such as bathing, oral care, dressing. They will also provide support for toileting needs.
  • Nutritional support, as recommended by a physician, in cooperation with the kitchen staff to meet the of the residents.
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, along with nourishing snacks and beverages are provided. There is assistance with eating/drinking provide on an as needed bases.
  • Mobility services are provided with support from the nursing staff such as wheelchair and walker assistance. They can also provide a Hoyer lift for those residents who cannot safely move from their bed to a chair. This will provide the resident with the availability to move their position and not be bedridden.
  • Laundry services are provided or laundry can be done by the resident’s family.
  • Recreational opportunities such as, card games, Bingo, musical groups that will perform for the residents, crafts and social groups. 

What Medical services are provided at a Nursing Home?

There are numerous medical services provide to the residents each day to ensure the residents continued level of health.

Each day and throughout the day the trained medical staff will:

  • Check the residents blood pressure.
  • Check blood sugar level (Diabetes). Then provide appropriate treatment/medication.
  • Provide wound care.
  • Take Temperature.
  • Dispense and monitor daily medications to residents as needed.

Nursing homes may also provide short-term rehabilitation services for those residents recovering from surgery or injury.

All services are documented in the resident’s medical files.

Questions to ask when looking for the “right” Nursing Home:

Depending on where you live the selection for a nursing homes may be more limited than in other areas. However, no matter where you live the following questions will provide you with a better understanding of the facilities that you have available to you.

Remember the process of finding the “right” nursing home will take time, which we all too often don’t give to it. Start as soon as possible so that you will have ample time to fill out the appropriate paperwork. There can be a long waiting period for an opening in the facility of your choice.

Planning can make the transition to a nursing home more comfortable.

  • What are the living accommodations? One or two bedrooms? Shared or individual bathroom? Are there separate temperature gages for each side of the room?
  • Do the rooms have appropriate furniture and décor? Can you bring some of your own furniture?
  • Is the in-room storage capacity adequate? If there are shelves are they accessible?
  • Is there access to televisions and internet? Is that in your room or a shared common room?
  • What do the common areas look like? Are they well lit? Is there a garden area with tables to sit at?
  • Are the hallways wide enough to accommodate multiple wheelchairs and or walkers?
  • Are there handrails, elevators for ease of travel in the hallways or between floors when necessary?
  • Is the Nursing home clean? Is it well taken care of?
  • Does the facility meet all the state and federal guidelines and do they have up to date licenses?
  • What are the visiting hours?
  • Do residents have to carry private insurance for personal property?
  • Do the residents have to carry private health insurance?

Questions to ask regarding the services that are provide to the residents:

  • Is there adequately trained medical staff on duty 24 hours a day seven days a week?
  • Is there help provided daily for dressing, bathing, toilet needs, eating and mobility needs?
  • Are medicines dispensed by certified nurses? Can residents medicate themselves?
  • Will the nurses and or medical staff schedule PT, OT and Speech therapy if required?
  • If there is an emergency how will it be responded to? Who will make an evaluation of an emergency situation? How will the family be notified?
  • Does the staff including nursing and administrative staff have the appropriate license and training in dealing with the Seniors? How often do they participate in workshops to update their skills and understanding of their clientele?

Observations of the staff and facility surroundings will be invaluable to you as you evaluate your Nursing Home options. It is important to make the following observations: 

  • How are the residents dressed and groomed? Do the residents appear content and happy? Do they appear to be well taken care of?
  • Does the staff seem genuinely interested in their jobs? Are they appropriately interacting with the residents? Are they treating the residents with respect and caring?
  • Does the staff help residents with memory issues? Do they help re-orient residents who seem lost or confused?
  • Are there family members visiting? Do they speak encouragingly about the facility and staff?
  • Are the daily activities available to the residents posted clearly for all to see? Were you able to watch or participate in an activity? Were a number of the residents engaged in the activity?
  • Are there meals provide to the residents? Breakfast, lunch, dinner? Are the meals at an appropriate temperature for the food being served? Are the meals served 7 days a week? Are there snacks provided daily? Is there drinking water available at all times? Is there assistance provided to hydrate the residents who cannot maintain their own hydration? Are the meals at a set time? DO residents all eat together or are meals also available in the resident’s room if necessary? Who assist residents with meals if needed? If a resident has dietary restrictions or needs how are they met?

Paying for Nursing Home Care:

The cost of nursing home care varies from state to state. It also is dependent on the size of the facility, care options, private or semi-private room.

The average cost of for nursing home care ranges anywhere from 6 to 8 thousand dollars plus a month.

As with Assisted Care or Home Care, Nursing Home Care will be self-funded first and when the private monies run out including private insurance, options for paying can be made through Medicare, Medicaid.

Things to consider when discussing nursing home fees and monthly charges:

  • How will the resident and or the family be charged?
  • Is the cost easy to understand?
  • Are the fees different depending on the level of service needed? Are additional services on an A’ la carte bases?
  • Have monthly fees remained stable over the last several years or have they increased and if so by what percentage?
  • What is the refund policy if the resident doesn’t use a whole month of services?
  • What forms or options of payment does the nursing home take? Medicare, Medicare, private insurance, private monies, Social Security?

In summary, these are certainly not all the concerns or questions one should ask when looking into Nursing Home Care. This will provide you with an outline to use to better assist you in your process.