6 Tips for Choosing a Skilled Nursing Facility
Choosing the right care community can be complex. If you or a loved one needs high-quality senior care, there are a variety of factors to consider. You probably already know the basics: skilled nursing facilities provide specialized care delivered by round-the-clock licensed nurses and therapists to people with medical needs caused by chronic illness, injury or ongoing health conditions. Depending on where you live, you may have a choice between a skilled nursing facility (sometimes referred to as a “nursing home”) and a skilled nursing neighborhood (or facility) within a senior living community that offers various levels of living and care.
Here are some questions to help you narrow your selection and choose the best skilled nursing center for your needs:
Question #1: Where Is the Facility Located?
Regular visits from family can be comforting and ensure better outcomes for residents in skilled nursing. Look for a place that’s close to family and friends so it’s easier for them to stop in frequently.
Question #2: What Specialized Care Programs Are Available?
Although skilled nursing facilities and skilled nursing communities may offer the same standard services, each typically has particular specialties, such as oncology recovery or ostomy care. Choosing the facility that excels in the area in which you need care allows you to capitalize on their expertise.
Question #3: What Amenities and Services Are Available?
Of course your medical needs are important, but so is having an environment where you can feel engaged and comfortable. Find out if residence options include private and semiprivate suites. And what about the extras that can make life easier and more enjoyable?
- Are housekeeping and laundry services provided?
- Is there a beauty salon/barbershop on campus?
- Is there social programming so you can engage in stimulating social activities?
- Are spiritual services available?
- Are dietary needs accommodated?
Question #4: Do People You Know Have Recommendations?
The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon occurs when you become aware of something — like skilled nursing facilities — and suddenly you encounter the subject everywhere. You aren’t actually hearing more about skilled nursing, but your brain is noticing the topic more because it’s important to you. So, if you’re having a casual conversation with a friend and the subject of senior care options comes up, take advantage of it. In fact, actively invite referrals and recommendations from the people you know. And ask your doctors, too, if they have experience with a particular facility or can recommend one in your area.
Question #5: How Do the Costs Compare?
Compare fee sheets and contracts from different senior care providers to find out how they fit your budget and to eliminate any billing surprises down the road. Look at whether there’s a community fee and, if so, which services are included in the fee. Also look for Medicare and Medicaid certifications, and review your insurance policy carefully to ensure that your stay in a skilled nursing community is covered as much as possible.
Question #6: What Are Your Post-Tour Impressions?
It’s vital that you visit facilities that have risen to the top of your list so you can get a firsthand impression. If you’re unable to tour in person, see if there’s a virtual tour on their website and contact them with any questions you have. You’ll want to arrive at your tour with a list of questions in hand. Medicare.gov has a checklist for nursing homes that can easily be applied to a skilled nursing neighborhood within a retirement community. In addition to asking questions, pay attention to the overall mood and atmosphere. Is the place clean? Warm and welcoming? Notice if staff members and residents have a friendly rapport with each other. And don’t hesitate to visit a second time if you still have questions. This is a big decision and you want to make the best possible choice.
Skilled Nursing at Parkwood
If you’re looking for skilled nursing care in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area, schedule a tour of Parkwood. Our skilled nursing facility specializes in post-acute care by caring staff members who strive to create close connections with our residents. Contact us to find out more about our skilled nursing services, or learn about the other senior living options at Parkwood.