Posted: October 14, 2020
Many families must face the necessity of making a decision for their elderly loved ones who may no longer be able to care for themselves. Every family has to make the best decision based on the health of their loved one. Although you might not think there is ever a ‘right time’ to consider moving to a Skilled Nursing community, it is important to be informed and prepared so you can prevent making a decision or a move during a crisis.
Sometimes people use the terms “assisted living” and “skilled nursing care” interchangeably, but the truth is that they are two very different things.
Assisted Living communities provide residents with a lower level of care, which is primarily focused on the activities of daily living (ADLs). These can include assistance with activities such as eating, medication reminders, and personal hygiene. Residents of assisted living communities do not need around-the-clock nursing care. Most of these communities cannot treat individuals who need wound care, medical monitoring, or therapy.
Skilled nursing care provides care or treatment that can only be performed by licensed nurses. For example, if an elderly family member has suffered a stroke or is recovering from surgery, they might not be ready to come home from the hospital. Or perhaps they might be at home, but their caregiver is overwhelmed and unable to provide care any longer.
Skilled Nursing communities such as Clermont Park can provide a wide range of services and medical care, such as wound care, intravenous (IV) therapy, injection administration, and monitoring of vital signs and medical equipment.
A skilled nursing community can also provide the rehabilitation services your loved one needs, including physical, occupational and speech therapy.
The staff at a skilled nursing care community typically includes a medical director or Director of Nursing, registered nurses (RNs) and licensed professional nurses (LPNs) and other licensed therapists.
Skilled nursing care might be needed short- or long-term, but while residents are there, they need care 24-7. Guests often come to Clermont Park for rehabilitation after a hospital stay, then go home. Others come to us from home care, but their condition has deteriorated in such a way that family can no longer care for their needs, so they move in and become part of our community. At Clermont Park, we have a continuum of care for peace of mind: Residents may start out in our Assisted Living neighborhood and one day find they need extra support and they are able to receive that in our Skilled Nursing neighborhood.
Medicare generally does not pay for long-term skilled nursing care, but it covers short-term care while you or a loved one recovers from an illness or injury.
Medicare will pay for skilled nursing services if a physician prescribes specialized therapies (including physical and occupational therapy), medications, medical equipment and supplies, and social services, to help with recovery. Only Medicare-certified skilled nursing communities, such as Clermont Park, are eligible. You can read more about Medicare and Skilled Nursing here.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right Skilled Nursing community:
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has a variety of resources for consumers as does Medicare.gov to assist you in comparing skilled nursing communities. Follow the community on social media to get a feel for what life in the community is like. And finally, Before making a decision, check out the floor plans, take a virtual tour and be sure to ask to a sample room if possible, (sometimes they are all occupied) as well as dining area, outside and other common areas.
Navigating the decision making process to find the right level of care and the right community is a difficult one. We are here to help! Read one Clermont Park resident’s story about moving during the pandemic and how residents are finding purpose and belonging at Clermont Park.