As parents or loved ones age, their health and physical abilities may deteriorate. For those with progressive diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, this makes care increasingly difficult as time passes. Transitioning your parent to a Skilled Nursing community will result in additional one-on-one care. This option helps meet the specific needs of more advanced conditions, including care and/or rehabilitation for those who need Parkinson’s care, custodial care, wound care, stroke recovery support, or terminal illness care. Use the following checklist to successfully transition your loved one to Skilled Nursing care.
Establish your loved one’s medical needs – Determine whether Skilled Nursing services best suit your loved one. For those dealing with several progressive diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, you will need to find nurses with experience in both diseases. Skilled Nursing can also provide short-term care or rehabilitation services. This makes it a great option for those who require speech, occupational, and physical therapy as they recover from a stroke. Many Skilled Nursing communities can also offer end-of-life hospice care.
Seek referrals – While researching Skilled Nursing care, get referrals for several communities and services. Speak with a Senior Living Advisor about Skilled Nursing and other elder care communities in your area that will meet your loved one’s needs. They can give you information about the best care option within your budget and referrals for specific communities.
Get your finances in order – Because Skilled Nursing services are more intensive, Skilled Nursing services tend to cost more than Assisted and Independent Living. On average, Skilled Nursing care can cost up to $8,000 or $10,000 per month, depending on the amount of care your parent needs. Aside from personal finances, you can use veteran’s benefits, long-term-care insurance, and other aid to cover monthly expenses for Skilled Nursing. Based on the community’s certifications and your loved one’s coverage, Medicare and Medicaid may cover some of the monthly expenses as well.
Transfer necessary documentation and information – Depending on your loved one’s previous care, your parent may have legal documentation and information with their current care community. Legal documents, such as living wills and powers of attorney, provide instructions to the agency regarding your loved one’s wishes when it comes to end of life and medical protocols. Update any living wills, lasting trusts, and powers of attorney and transfer all the necessary documentation to your Skilled Nursing agency or community.
Work with your new caregiver and staff – Even if you have previous experience working with an elder care staff, keep in mind that each community and nursing staff works differently. Learn everything you can about your loved one’s new primary caregiver and staff. If your loved one is moving into a Skilled Nursing community, learn each staff member’s role and how their role affects your loved one’s care. Don’t forget to include both day and night shift staff members. Ask questions about what you and other family members and friends can do to help make their jobs easier. You should also keep the number of a primary contact in case of emergencies. Working together with nurses and staff members will make this transition easier for everyone involved.
Visit your loved one often – Even if your parent or loved one receives in-home care for Skilled Nursing, you should visit them often to ensure the care services meet their needs. Observe interactions between nurses, staff, and your loved one.
Finding the best care option for a parent or loved one with deteriorating health will take time and consideration as symptoms and deficiencies progress. However, you can work with a Senior Living Advisor to find the best Skilled Nursing plan for your loved one. You can also continue exploring the OurParents website for more information about care options and care communities in your area.