Skilled Care: what is it and who needs it?
Skilled care is defined as the health care provided to people needing skilled rehabilitation or nursing staff for the observation, evaluation, management, and treatment of their long term medical condition. A few examples of this type of care would be physical therapy and intravenous injections. Skilled care is provided within a Skilled Nursing Facility or an SNF. The care that will be provided by a non-professional staff is not considered as skilled care. Patients do not typically stay in an SNF until they get better. People can avail of Medicare provided skilled care services but only up to 100 days or for short-term needs. By its name alone, skilled care insurance requires skilled rehabilitative or nursing staff to provide the support or assistance. Skilled staff comprise of audiologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, licensed vocational and practical nurses, and registered nurses.
Why Do You Need It?
People require skilled care to improve their condition or maintain their current condition to prevent it from worsening. Skilled rehabilitation care is needed to help people improve their condition within a fixed period of time or to establish a maintenance plan designed specifically for the patient’s condition again with the goal of preventing the condition from worsening. Skilled care will help you become better, be able to function independently, and be able to take care of your own personal health needs. Your family can be involved in mapping out your health goal.
Choosing a Skilled Nursing Facility
Selecting an SNF is a big decision. Only you can make a decision on the appropriate SNF for you. There are things you can do to ensure that you pick the best SNF based on your needs but you have to plan ahead. Advanced planning will help you pick an SNF that will provide high quality skilled care. Remember that you may live in this SNF for a long or a short period of time so make your choice count. If you are suffering from a long-term medical condition, you should be secure, comfortable and cared for in the best manner. Sometimes hospitals have their own SNF, you should check if yours does and if they can take you in. If your hospital does not have it, you will have to find an available slot in another SNF. This is why finding an SNF is such an important decision.
In reality, not many people consider skilled care until they or their family require it. An SNF is also known as a nursing home. They are licensed facilities providing health care and are regularly inspected as well as regulated by the Department of Health Services in the state where it is located. These facilities offer short- and long-term care for people who require rehabilitation services or those who are afflicted by persistent or serious health issues like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. These issues are just too elaborate and complicated to be handled in an assisted living facility or a retirement home.
What Can You Expect from an SNF
Skilled care facilities or nursing homes offer skilled and custodial nursing care twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. Skilled care is provided by professionals or licensed practitioners who offer their services on a temporary basis to help a person through illness and injury.
These services include:
- an occupational therapist helping a patient to be independent again especially in terms of getting dressed, attending to their personal hygiene and eating meals
- a nurse taking care of a post-operative wound or administering and monitoring intravenous medications
- a speech therapist providing assistance to a patient reclaiming their skill to communicate after a stroke
a physical therapist helping a patient with their balance and strength issues
A skilled nursing care facility also offers laboratory, radiology and pharmaceutical services, laundry services, transportation, terminal hospice care, respite care, and educational and social activities.
There are skilled care facilities specifically established to care for senior citizens who suffer from Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory ailments, or dementia. The staff will also provide personal or custodial care focused on helping the residents with their activities of daily living or ADLs. These ADLs include personal hygiene, bathing, eating, dressing, eating, getting out and back to bed, incontinence, and walking. Keep in mind that not all skilled care facilities offer services that help patients with the ADLs, so it would be wise to double check this detail first.