Most people use the terms nursing home, assisted living, and skilled nursing interchangeably. Yet, these three terms refer to different entities altogether. Assisted living is typically for older adults who do not necessarily need 24-hour nursing care, but require assistance with their activities of daily living, or ADL. Such activities include help with bathing, getting out of bed, dressing, medication reminders, and eating, just to name a few.

A nursing home refers to a physical facility or building where the residents receive skilled nursing care or assisted living. On the other hand, skilled nursing care describes patients’ requirements for professional treatment or care. These services can only be legally provided by a licensed nurse. Skilled nursing care is typically offered in Life Plan Communities, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living communities, and other licensed locations. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of Health mostly regulate skilled nursing. The skilled nursing providers must meet certain strict requirements to get certified by the CMS. To ensure they continually maintain quality standards, they are often subject to periodic inspections.

Types of Skilled Nursing Services

If you or your loved one has had surgery, stroke, or serious surgery for heart, respiratory, or kidney conditions, they could benefit from rehabilitation. These professional services are usually offered in skilled nursing communities and are important in achieving optimal recovery, especially after being released from the hospital. 

If your physician prescribes certain expert therapies, Medicare may cover the cost of skilled nursing services. These expert therapies include occupational and physical therapy, including medical supplies and equipment, social services, and medications, to assist your loved one to attain optimal health. But, you must check them into a skilled nursing home that is Medicare-certified to reap the benefits.

Occupational Therapy

This type of therapy helps your loved one adapt to physical and social environments. They use specialized therapies for better coordination, memory training, and dressing.

Physical Therapy

After hospitalization, illness, or surgery, a skilled rehabilitation care team will formulate a personalized rehab plan, providing the most effective and efficient outcome.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy usually rectifies swallowing dysfunction and communication problems. Language and speech pathologists design a personalized treatment plan to provide alternative communication strategies to help with language ability and offer professional advice on appropriate diets.

Different Skilled Services

Skilled nursing communities offer numerous different medical and other services including:

• Occupational therapy

• Physical therapy 

• Wound care

• Speech-language pathology

• Monitoring of vital signs

• Intravenous therapy

• Provision of medical equipment

To offer these services in a professional and certified environment, skilled nursing staff in a rehab facility includes:

• Licensed practical nurses

• Licensed vocational nurses

• Medical directors

• Audiologists

• Speech/language pathologists

• Registered nurses

A reputable skilled nursing facility like StoneBridge Senior Living should also have a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital. This is critical should a resident require emergency medical care.

Choosing the Right Skilled Nursing Community

When looking for a suitably skilled nursing facility for your loved one, there are many factors to consider. However, here are the three most important factors to consider when choosing the best fit.

The Environment

This is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a place for your loved one. You want your loved one to be in an environment that is comfortable and homey to make their stay pleasant. The most effective way to assess this is by taking a personal tour. If this is impossible due to health safety concerns, ask for a virtual tour of the facility. Here are things to watch out for:

• If the residents’ rooms are clean and free of clutter

• If the staff are caring and respectful to the residents

• If they allow the residents to decorate their rooms with personal belongings

• If the hallways are clean and clutter-free

• In case of an in-person tour, are there any odors?

• If they have an area for friends and family to gather for special occasions or visits

• What types of rooms do they have at their facility?

The Staff and Nursing Services

The quality of nursing and nursing services should be a top priority. This is because patients only transition to nursing homes when it is medically necessary. To make sure a nursing home is the best fit for your loved one, consider the following:

• Do they have an around-the-clock registered nurse? While it is legally required for these facilities to have a 24-hour licensed practical nurse, there are some tasks that only an RN can perform like the administration of IV

• Do they utilize contract agencies?

• Can they handle advanced medical care requirements like wound therapy?

• Do the residents get personalized care plans?

• Are the staff members motivated and dedicated?

• Do they have a contracted or on-site physician?

• What types of therapies do they provide?

Lifestyle and Dining Services

Dining at skilled nursing facilities involves more than just eating. It is a perfect chance for the residents to fellowship and socialize. Also, planned activities are instrumental in the provision of cognitive stimulation, laying a good foundation for long-term care, and preventing isolation. Things to consider include:

• If incapable residents are assisted by the facility staff to eat

• Do they have special diets?

• Are the planned activities diversified?

• Availability of outside or off-premises activities

Skilled Nursing FAQs

What Comprises Skilled Nursing Care?

It is any care or intervention requiring the express supervision of a certified or licensed medical expert like a physical therapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, or registered nurse.

Can you get Skilled Nursing Services at Home?

Yes, you can. With the right skilled nursing service provider and support, you can have these services done at home. Your respective therapist or registered nurse can come to your residence and perform tasks as prescribed by your physician. These include exercises, wound care, or IV administration.

Do Skilled Nursing Facilities have Insurance Coverage?

Yes, they do. However, depending on the types of services you require, some of the expenses may be covered partially by your insurer.

The Best Skilled Nursing Facility in Lake Ozark, MO

If you are looking for skilled nursing care for your loved one in Lake Ozark, MO, look no further. StoneBridge Senior Living is a leading skilled nursing facility with vast experience in taking care of our seniors. We offer unrivaled services and care to our residents, giving them all the comforts of home in our facility. If you are unsure of which type of skilled nursing facility is best suited for your loved one, talk to one of our highly qualified teammates to make an informed decision.

For more on skilled nursing, visit StoneBridge Senior Living at our office in St. Charles, MO. You can also call 855-308-3781 today to book an appointment