If your aging loved one is like most, they want to remain in their current home for as long as possible. And although that is an admirable goal, most seniors in Elkhart eventually require assistance to perform normal daily activities. When that time comes, families must make hard decisions about where and how that long-term care will be provided. When needed, skilled nursing care can be delivered through home health care or various other settings. Read on to learn more about this topic and how it might benefit that special senior in your life.
What is Skilled Nursing Care?
Skilled nursing care is medically necessary care that can only be provided by or under the supervision of, a licensed nurse or other licensed healthcare professional. This type of care is typically delivered through a home healthcare agency, assisted living community with an on-staff nurse, or a skilled nursing residential facility with 24/7 nursing care.
These medical professionals are licensed to provide skilled nursing care services:
- Registered Nurses (RNs)
- Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)
- Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)
- Physical and occupational therapists
- Respiratory therapists
- Speech/language pathologists
- Dieticians and nutritionists
- Other specialists
What Are Examples of Skilled Nursing Services?
Skilled nursing care is often recommended for patients who require a lower level of care than a hospital can provide yet require a higher level of care than informal caregivers, home care, or an outpatient clinic can provide.
When ordered by a licensed physician, skilled nursing care may include one or more of these services:
- Intravenous (IV) care, including injections, IV hydration, and feeding, or Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)
- Complex wound care, including care and dressing of surgical wounds, slow-healing wounds, diabetic wounds, or pressure ulcers (bed sores)
- Pain management services
- Medical monitoring, including tracking of vital signs and medical condition
- Rehabilitative care, including physical, occupational, and speech therapy
- Medication management and supervision
- Respiratory care and therapy
- Specialized medical equipment supervision, management, and maintenance
- Tracheotomy care and other specialized medical care
- Specialty care for stroke, cardiac, orthopedic, pulmonary, diabetes, cancer, and surgical patients
When Might Skilled Nursing Care Be Needed?
Most often ordered due to an illness, surgery, injury, or chronic medical condition, these describe situations when a patient might need skilled nursing care:
- Diabetes management
- Dispensing and monitoring intravenous (IV) medications
- Tube feedings
- Post-operative wound care and complex wound dressings
- Intramuscular injections
- Catheter, colostomy, and incontinence care
- Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs)
- Blood transfusions
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Monitoring of vital signs and medical equipment
- Pharmaceutical, radiology, and laboratory services
What Are the Skilled Nursing Care Options in Elkhart?
If you or your loved one lives in the Elkhart area, you or they may receive skilled nursing care in one of these environments:
Skilled Nursing Facility
Often provided at a nursing home or other type of facility (SNF), these offer the highest level of care and 24/7 supervision outside a hospital. This short-term option is typically available for patients undergoing acute medical treatment and rehabilitation provided by nurses and other licensed medical professionals. Medicare Part A covers up to 100 days of care in an SNF per benefit period as long as the patient remains eligible.
Assisted Living Community
Assisted living is an option for those who require around-the-clock monitoring by a registered nurse after leaving a skilled nursing facility. For an additional fee, most assisted living communities offer nursing care, therapy services, and 24-hour care in a residential environment. Families can also take advantage of recovery stays for loved ones recently released from the hospital. Sometimes, those patients decide to move into the facility permanently.
Home Health Care
Best for those who need part-time or intermittent services, a licensed medical professional can be scheduled for in-home visits. For most home healthcare recipients, getting plenty of rest and one-on-one care in a familiar environment is beneficial to their recovery.
Home health care can also be paired with professional home care services, informal caregivers, or a combination thereof to ensure all the patient’s daily needs are met. Families who prefer home health care must first verify that their loved one’s home environment is safe.
How to Choose the Right Home Healthcare Provider
With all the home healthcare companies out there, choosing the best agency for your loved one can be challenging. Here’s how to ensure your loved one receives the nurturing they deserve:
Sometimes, knowing where to find home healthcare providers is half the battle. Ask your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and relatives for referrals if you’ve never hired an agency before. If you are a friend or relative who lives far away from your aging loved one, a quick Google search can pull up the names of home healthcare companies in their community.
Read client testimonials
In addition to recommendations from trusted sources, you’ll also need to research what others say about each agency. Online reviews from clients and their families also reveal much about an agency’s reputation, along with testimonials from current and former employees.
Reputable home healthcare providers also conduct drug tests and extensive background checks on their employees, including criminal and driving records. While you’re at it, check to see if the agency meets all federal and state licensing and certification requirements.
Research their services
Your loved one may only require skilled nursing care to manage their diabetes or learn how to talk again after having a stroke. But if they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, for instance, cancer, does the agency also offer end-of-life services, such as hospice care and palliative care?
Look for a provider that offers a full menu of skilled nursing care services. If you live far away, an agency that offers home health care and home care services under the same roof can be a real-time saver – and stress reliever – with everything else on your plate!
An Extended Family in Your Loved One’s Elkhart Home
When you need professional home care, look no further than Senior1Care in Elkhart. We are a fully licensed and insured provider with highly trained individuals who are experts at delivering the nurturing your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform various duties, including private duty care, personal care, dementia care, companionship care, medication reminders, and even live-in Care and 24-hour care.
While assisting clients in Elkhart, Fort Waye, South Bend and Indianapolis, our agency’s focus is maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit Senior1Care online now to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in our service area.