The vast majority of seniors want to remain in their home for as long as possible, but determining when that cannot safely be sustained is a decision that should not only involve the senior but also family members, physicians, and other medical personnel. Fortunately, there are health professionals that can help with this decision.
Home health services can make it possible to stay in their home longer, and admission into a skilled nursing facility (SNF) may eventually be needed. Let’s take a look at home health care and skilled nursing facilities to see what they offer and when they may be appropriate for your senior.
Home Health Care
Over the years, technology has improved and allowed home health care to experience tremendous growth. An array of services can be delivered to the senior in their home, including:
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
- Recovery from surgery
- Pain management
- Blood pressure issues
- Cardiovascular care
- Wound management
- Medication management
- Home safety evaluations
- Training on medical equipment
- Nutrition assessment and counseling
With home health care, the senior doesn’t have to travel to a physician office, outpatient clinic or hospital to receive care. They aren’t sitting in a waiting room listening for someone to call their name. The health care professionals who arrive at the senior’s door to offer medical or therapy services are there solely for them.
Medicare covers the cost of home health delivered by a certified home health agency for anyone who qualifies via a referral from a physician, but there are items that are not covered.
Medicare.gov provides information on coverage for home health services.
The American Council on Aging explains Medicaid coverage for seniors with limited assets and low income who need skilled care.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
A SNF provides 24/7 skilled nursing care and supervision when the senior’s condition requires it.
A SNF provides a secure, medically managed environment for a senior, and includes assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, and preparing food. The care is provided by nurses, therapists and certified nurse assistants.
Home Health Care and Skilled Nursing – Working Together
In some cases, the two work hand-in-hand. An example — a senior living in their own home has suffered a fall and is need of rehabilitation after surgery and hospital discharge. The senior is then admitted to a SNF for short-stay rehabilitation. Once the short-stay rehabilitation program at the SNF is complete, they return to their homes, where they continue to undergo rehab from therapists through home health care.
Medicare.gov also provides information on skilled nursing coverage.
Medicaid also covers extended stays in SNFs for seniors with limited assets and low income who need skilled care. Information on this coverage can be found at Medicaid.gov
Bethesda offers both in-home and in-community support for seniors across the St. Louis area. Contact us today to learn more about our communities and services, and how we can help your senior loved one.