Five Myths About Skilled Nursing Facilities

When the time comes and you need to trust someone else to care for your loved one, nursing homes often have a negative reputation. In reality, these skilled nursing facilities offer 24-hour care and support that individuals usually cannot receive at home. When researching the best living options for your family member, consider the following facts and myths.

Skilled Nursing Facilities Are Cold And Clinical

People often assume skilled nursing facilities resemble hospitals. In most instances, that’s simply not the case. Yes, residents receive care from medical professionals and assistance with daily tasks, but rooms present a more comfortable and homelike ambiance. Common areas are designed to be warm and welcoming. Plus, individuals are encouraged to participate in planned or group activities as they prefer and their abilities allow. Social and emotional support is provided for your loved one—and you—as well.

Residents Do Not Make Their Own Decisions

While each resident may face unique challenges based on their physical and cognitive health, they are free to make their own choices. Individuals can express their will regarding dining options and engage in social and recreational events as well as cultural and spiritual activities. They also have the right to make decisions about treatment and healthcare.

Meals Are Bland And Unappetizing

Most skilled nursing facilities pride themselves on their cuisine. Yes, there are medically required dietary needs at times, but the culinary staff work hard to balance nutrition with taste and presentation. Many even offer vegan, gluten-free, low-sodium, diabetic, or organic options. The trend across the country is a shift from rigid menus and stringent meal times to a more individualized approach toward food.

Residents Never Move Out

Some elder residents of skilled nursing facilities will stay for the remainder of their lives; however, others are recovering from an illness or surgery and require only a short-term stay. Once they regain their health and mobility, they can go home or—in the case of a Continuing Life Care community—move to another area of the property such as assisted living or independent living.

Skilled Nursing Is Unaffordable

Costs for skilled nursing facilities vary greatly based on location and whether a room is private or semiprivate. A resident at a Continuing Life Care community is guaranteed housing at a predetermined monthly rate. Plus, everything is included—three meals a day, snacks, utilities, cable television, and housekeeping along with medical care. With home healthcare, the individual or family continues to pay for groceries and living expenses on top of the healthcare provider’s services. So while it may seem more affordable to hire a home health aide, be sure to consider all expenses to make an accurate comparison.

It may be difficult when you realize that your family member needs round-the-clock care that you cannot provide. But when you separate fact from fiction, you’ll gain peace of mind knowing that you can find skilled nursing facilities where your loved one will receive the highest level of care and compassion.