For many Americans, long term care isn’t something they think about until they or a loved one needs it. When that time comes, the confusion can be overwhelming. With so many terms thrown around, like “skilled nursing,” “memory care,” and “assisted living,” it’s no wonder seniors and their families get lost in the maze of options.
Unraveling the Jargon: Skilled Nursing vs. Long Term Care
One of the most confusing terms you’ll encounter is “skilled nursing.” It simply refers to a type of medical care provided by trained professionals, like nurses and therapists. But just because your doctor recommends skilled nursing doesn’t mean you have to move to a long term care facility.
Skilled Nursing Care: What It Is and Where You Can Get It
Skilled nursing care is a higher level of medical attention that’s often needed after an illness or injury. It can be provided in short bursts for rehab, or on an ongoing basis for those with chronic conditions. The good news is, you don’t always have to leave home to get it.
In many cases, Medicare, private insurance, VA benefits, and long term care insurance policies cover short-term skilled nursing care at home. This is a great option for seniors who want to stay in their familiar surroundings while receiving the care they need.
Long Term Care: When Extra Support is Needed
For seniors who require more than just occasional skilled nursing, long term care facilities offer a variety of living options and support services. Assisted living communities are a popular choice for those who want to maintain some independence but need help with daily activities like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Long term care facilities come in all shapes and sizes, with different levels of care available. Most have on-site medical staff who create and monitor personalized care plans for each resident. They also provide security and 24-hour access to nurses. However, it’s important to remember that long term care may be assisted living or the more attentive skilled nursing.
Finding the Right Fit: It’s a Team Effort
Choosing the right long term care option is a big decision, and it’s best not to go it alone. Talk to your doctor, family, and friends for recommendations. Visit different facilities and ask lots of questions. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The best option for you or your loved one will depend on individual needs and preferences. Just like realtors, there are some placement agencies that help find the right long term care facility for you. Typically there is no cost to you as the facilities will pay the fee. We do not recommend such agencies that are primarily online as those services are always inferior to those living and working in the community.
With careful planning and a little guidance, you can navigate the maze of long term care options and find the perfect fit for a happy and healthy future.
Additional Tips for Choosing Long Term Care:
- Start planning early. The sooner you start thinking about long term care, the more options you’ll have.
- Consider your loved one’s needs and preferences. What level of care do they need? Do they want to stay independent or have more assistance?
- Tour different facilities. Get a feel for the atmosphere and see if it’s a good fit for your loved one.
- Talk to the staff. Ask about their qualifications and experience.
- Get everything in writing. This includes the care plan, costs, and policies.
Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. There are many resources available to help you make the best decisions for your loved one. Contact us at Paths Law Firm today to learn more!