If you or a loved one are still living at home but know that a move into a care facility with more services is in the near future, you may be confused by the many options available. There are ads everywhere that talk about independent and assisted living, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation centers. Although some facilities offer a combination of two or more services, they are all different. We’re happy to help provide more understanding …
There are two primary types of independent living centers. One for seniors looking for a little support, companionship, group meals, and activities. The second is for adults of all ages with developmental disabilities. Senior independent living centers may have units with full or partial kitchens depending on the facility. Independent living centers don’t have doctors or nurses on staff. One reason some seniors choose to move to an independent living center is the wheelchair and walker-friendly configurations like wide hallways and elevators. Most offer transportation to the mall, grocery store, and other places for those who no longer drive.
Assisted living may be the next step for those who need to transition out of an independent living situation. There is a nurse or physician assistant on staff to assist with medication, and there are caregivers trained in bathing and dressing those who need assistance. Assisted living offers the same transportation, meal, activity, and companionship benefits that independent living offers.
Skilled Nursing Facilities/Nursing Homes
A nursing home/skilled nursing facility is the appropriate choice when more extensive nursing or medical care is needed. This could be due to a specific diagnosis or due to loss of mobility (such as being non-weight bearing or bedbound). They offer 24/7 nursing supervision and limited medical services within the facility. There are times when a stay in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility could be short-term as part of a recuperation period. Other times, a person may need long-term care in a skilled unit (skilled nursing facility). In recent years, we have seen fewer long-term beds available, which makes it more difficult for families to find them when they are needed.
A rehab center focuses on rehabilitation, especially after a significant event like a fall, joint replacement, surgery, or other extended hospital stays. Patients attend therapies (e.g. physical, occupational, speech) daily, often with a strict regimen, to improve mobility and strength. There are generally nurses and doctors on staff to monitor the patients. This is intended to be a temporary placement so you can recover and return home.
Memory Care facilities cater to the special needs of individuals with memory impairment. They are staffed by specially trained caregivers who understand the needs of those diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They are often designed with special features, spaces, lighting, etc. that are soothing and appealing to their residents; while offering complete security to protect their residents from elopement. They also have the necessary nursing services available 24/7.
Depending on your reason for investigating a continuing care center, finding the right facility for your needs is important. If you want assistance for yourself or a family member, you can count on the advocates at RMF Care Management, Inc. We are the problem solvers for the elderly and can help you find the right facility for your needs today and into the future. Call 727-787-8677 or 813-884-6100 or contact us for an appointment with one of our patient advocates.