Five Questions To Ask When Your Aging Loved One Gets Discharged To A Skilled Nursing Facility

Learn What Types Of Services You Can Expect To Make Sure The Facility Meets Your Needs

When your aging loved one gets released from the hospital, they may be discharged to a skilled nursing facility instead of going home so that they can recover or heal from an injury, illness, or surgery. Skilled nursing facilities offer skilled nursing care 24 hours a day, and often have dedicated rehabilitation units.

As with any type of care facility, you want to know what type of services you can expect to make sure the facility meets your needs. If you’re researching skilled nursing facilities, here are five questions to ask:

  1. What is the cost? The average cost of a semi-private room at a skilled nursing facility runs about $235 per day. Medicare will cover the cost of a skilled nursing facility for a limited time under certain conditions; but not for long-term-care. It’s best to check your individual benefits to see what you are covered for.
  2. What additional services are provided? It is important to find out what therapy services are provided. Make sure the facility meets your specific needs. Does the facility offer occupation, physical and speech therapy? How many days a week is therapy provided? Is therapy offered on the weekends? How many hours of therapy will they receive per day?
  3. How often do you receive doctor visits and what is the staff to patient ratio? In a skilled nursing facility, the physician is required to and should make rounds once a month and may come more often. The nursing staff is in contact with the physician when necessary for medication, changes in condition and other needs of the individual being treated. It is important to ask how many aides and nurses are working per area and how many people they care for during a shift, including nights and weekends.
  4. What types of activities are offered? Ask about social activities and daily exercise. Find out when meals are served. There may be exercise or walking groups and individuals should also have mental activities such as Bingo or other social interaction games. It is imperative that individuals stay active, both physically and mentally, so ask how often these activities occur.
  5. Check reports & violations. The skilled nursing facility must be licensed and the administrator must be licensed. Ask to see a copy of the latest inspection. See what, if any, violations or problems the facility has had in the past and how they have dealt with them.
  6. These are just a few questions to consider when searching for a skilled nursing facility. Not sure what is needed for your loved one? Assisted Living Locators senior care advisors can guide you through the process.

    Our free referral service allows you to take the time to ensure information is fully vetted, intuitive and the best elder care resources out there.

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