Specialized Care for Individuals Who Need Daily Assistance
While some individuals are able to continue running their households with little assistance, there are those who may have debilitating physical or emotional conditions that require care beyond what family or professional home care aides can provide.
What is Nursing Care?
At a nursing home, care is administered by professionals under the direction of a physician. Many facilities also offer sub-acute, respite, rehabilitation and other short-term care. Rehabilitation services can be especially helpful for individuals who are recovering from surgery, an illness or any other life-changing event.
These homes serve as permanent residences for individuals who are too sick or frail to live at home or as temporary facilities during a recovery period after a surgery or illness.
Who Pays for Nursing Care?
Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and personal assets are all used under various circumstances to pay for services in a nursing care facility. If a facility is not certified by Medicare and Medicaid, the care will have to be paid for entirely with personal funds.
In general, Medicare pays for skilled nursing care following hospitalization for the same illness or condition at 100 percent of the cost for days 1 – 20. Some long-term care insurance pays for nursing home care; insurance payments are usually a fixed amount for a specified number of qualified days.
The basic daily rate is the standard charge the nursing home bills to all residents, which covers the fundamental services every resident receives, including rent for the room, housekeeping, meals and general nursing care. It is important to understand all the services and amenities that are not included in the basic daily rate.
What to Look for in Nursing Care
Before choosing a home, contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program of your Area Agency on Aging. Ombudsman programs promote the highest quality of life and care for residents of nursing facilities and can help families and staff with inquiries and complaints. Tell the ombudsman which options you are considering and request any information they may have.
Visit your prospective communities at different times of day. Talk with residents. Be persistent about getting your questions answered.