As the population ages, more and more of us are faced with the prospect of moving either ourselves or an older family member into a skilled care center. It may be a decision that arrives suddenly after a recent hospitalization or you may have gradually noticed more and more needs becoming difficult to manage in other types of housing. The decision can be a stressful one for both the older adult and their family. Additionally, there are many misconceptions about nursing homes. It’s important to learn all you can about how nursing homes work, when a nursing home is the best option, and how to find the nursing home that is best for you or a loved one.
What is a Nursing Home (Skilled Care Center)? A nursing home is normally the highest level of care for older adults outside of a hospital. Nursing homes provide what is called custodial care, including getting in and out of bed, and providing assistance with feeding, bathing and dressing. However, nursing homes differ from other senior housing facilities in that they also provide a high level of medical care. A licensed physician supervises each patient’s care and a nurse or other medical professional is always on the premises. Skilled nursing care is available on site, 24 hours a day. Other medical professionals such as occupational or physical therapists are also available. This allows the delivery of medical procedures and therapies on site that would not be possible in other housing.