When your aging loved one is in the hospital and deconditioned, you will likely be approached by a case manager who will recommend going to a skilled nursing facility temporarily for rehabilitation. Many times they will say that this is necessary because discharge home would be unsafe. In some cases this is true, sometimes a SNF is the safest and/or most affordable option.
But, there are other options and resources available for the patients to discharge home and have services in the home that can be just as or even more rehabilitative than a Skilled nursing facility stay. Why? Because the patient gets to be in their home setting and their attitude will be much more positive. Skilled nursing facilities are not the most comfortable setting, they are very “hospital-like”, and Medicare only pays for a semi-private room (although some facilities do offer private rooms if available). Patients often get little to no rest because of all the activity going on all through the day and night, and rest is a critical part of healing.
An alternative is to set up a good support system for care in the home post-discharge. Elderly patients can utilize any combination of in the home resources to support their home recovery plan. The following resources could be a part of this plan:
- Skilled home health- For a qualifying “home bound” patient, Medicare will pay for therapies, nursing, medical social work, and even a home health aide to assist with Activities of daily living.
- Private duty home care- In home caregivers can support the client up to 24 hours a day to ensure safety and comfort.
- House call physician services- Visiting physicians and nurse practitioners can ensure that the patient’s medications are reconciled and managed appropriately by a private in home caregiver or nurse. They can also step in and provide medical intervention in situations that may normally put the patient back in the hospital.
- Home delivered meals- The local area agency on aging may even offer a home delivered meal service that could be used temporarily during recovery.
As just described, there are a multitude of options available for seniors in today’s senior care marketplace. Seniors do have options and should request more information from the case manager on in home care support if they do not wish to go to a skilled nursing facility. In addition, a geriatric care manager could be utilized to oversee all of the care and offer support and guidance to the client and his or her family.
Allegiance Home Care leverages our qualified, knowledgeable caregiving staff as well as our experienced house call physician team to ensure that seniors stay happy and healthy at home. For more information about our Happy & Healthy Recovery at home program, contact us today at 703-539-6029.
About the Author: Pam Reynolds, CMC is the President and co-owner of Allegiance Aging Care Services. Pam has spent almost fifteen years working in senior care including long term care facilities and home health care. Her higher education is in Social Work, and she has been credentialed as both a certified Geriatric Care Manager and Licensed Assisted Living Administrator. Read more about Pam and her team of Aging Care Professionals here.