4 Misconceptions About Skilled Nursing

October 22, 2020

Skilled nursing encompasses medical care and other round-the-clock support that someone may need following a surgery, heart attack, stroke, fracture, or other medical setback. A skilled nursing provider often manages post-surgical rehabilitation or acute illnesses. The provider combines recreational activities and other amenities and services that help to create a sense of home and community during recovery.

The term “nursing home” is not used much anymore, so try not to let it confuse you. It may refer to a skilled nursing and/or assisted living. A primary difference between skilled nursing and assisted living is the short term nature of the former. 

Assisted living and skilled nursing facilities both provide assistance with dressing, grooming, medication, meal preparation, and other aspects of daily living, but skilled nursing includes a higher level of medical care. 

The media sometimes reports on a nursing home providing substandard care, and these reports are understandably alarming. It is important to do your research before selecting a skilled nursing provider but remember, negative news makes the headlines specifically because it’s out of the ordinary. Take a look at these four myths or misconceptions about skilled nursing.

1. Residents Have No Independence

Seniors in skilled nursing facilities make their own healthcare and financial decisions. If they are physically unable to do so, their family members or someone with healthcare power of attorney provides input. Federal law protects their right to be treated with dignity and respect. 

In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sets forth the rights and protections of any resident in any Medicare- and Medicaid-eligible facility. Residents have the right to manage their financial affairs, be a party to their medical treatment, be free from abuse, and expect that their personal property will be kept safe.

Skilled nursing facilities typically rely on security monitoring systems and safety supervisors, but only to keep residents safe — not to restrict their independence.

2. You Can’t Bring Personal Property to Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing residents recover best in a homelike, comfortable environment. To that end, they are welcome to bring personal effects that reasonably fit in their room. They can bring framed family photos, heirlooms, holiday decorations, tablets or e-readers, stationery, and their favorite personal care items. Check with the resident’s medical care team about whether favorite snacks or beverages are okay for the person to have while in care. CMS requirements state that the facility must provide things like appropriate bedding, furniture and storage for the resident’s clothing. 

3. There’s Nothing To Do While in Skilled Nursing

Medical treatments and rehabilitation account for a large portion of a resident’s day, but that doesn’t mean they have no free time. Depending on their ability and stage of recovery, they can engage in enjoyable activities. They can often access wireless internet, television, a library, religious services, group activities, salon and hair appointments and outdoor areas. Each skilled nursing provider will have its own policy on visitors, but it’s generally possible to visit with loved ones, too.

4. Skilled Nursing Providers Only Exist to Make Money

Providing round-the-clock care is expensive, and it’s true that skilled nursing providers must take in enough money to pay for it. Payments from patients are just one of the ways in which they earn money, however. They also bring in federal and state funds and possibly grants. Their approach may reflect whether they are a non-profit or for-profit senior community

The vast majority of medical care and administrative workers who choose to work in a skilled nursing or other senior care community do so because they care about people. Their work is challenging but they are rewarded by the chance to help someone heal or simply to make them happy for a few minutes. In other words, making money is not typically the primary reason anyone does this kind of work. When choosing a skilled nursing provider, take a tour and speak with as many employees as possible to get a sense of whether they have your best interests at heart.

Get to Know Benderson Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation at Aviva

Benderson Skilled Nursing at Aviva offers personalized care in a nurturing and healing home-like environment. Our holistic approach to care focuses on mind, body and spirit, with a complete range of rehabilitation services and numerous amenities. Compassionate, skilled nurses are available 24-hours a day to ensure the well-being of our residents. Our team’s specialized training and experience help patients return home as quickly as possible.

Aviva’s skilled nursing and rehabilitation are part of a continuum of care, meaning residents can transition smoothly among our different residences, including independent living, assisted living and memory care. Contact us today to learn more.

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