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September 20, 2021

Does your beloved senior citizen need a skilled nursing community?

We all share a connection to a senior whether it’s a parent, grandparent, or friend. Part of having a senior citizen in your life means keeping an eye on them and knowing when they might need additional help. Maybe you have noticed over the past few weeks that your mother’s health seems to be declining. She doesn’t drive anymore, needs help taking her medications, and is beginning to have trouble walking. Do these signs mean she needs to be moved to a skilled nursing facility?

What Is Skilled Nursing?

Skilled nursing – sometimes called short-term care, is required if you or your loved one needs 24/7 medical care or supervision. Communities with skilled nursing have advanced medical services, rehabilitation therapy programs, meals, activities, laundry services, housekeeping, and a full 24/7 nursing team. Skilled nursing can also be recommended after someone has surgery or a hospital stay for a medical condition. 

Part of your skilled nursing care plan might include rehabilitation, which you can learn more about in our rehabilitation section. Whether you need rehabilitation after undergoing knee surgery, or your loved one had a stroke and needs speech therapy, our skilled nursing care programs can help.

Skilled nursing or short-term care can be appropriate for:

  • Acute medical conditions
  • Cardiac and pulmonary reconditioning
  • Cosmetic surgery recovery
  • Diabetic rehabilitation
  • Fractures
  • General rehabilitation due to weakness or physical decline
  • General wound care
  • Heart attack
  • Hip replacement
  • IV and antibiotic treatment
  • Knee surgery
  • Parkinson’s care
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory care
  • Stroke
  • Terminal illness care (in cooperation with hospice)

What Are Signs Your Loved One Needs Skilled Nursing?

Watch for a clear pattern of diminished physical or mental abilities. A single sign, such as forgetting to return a phone call or missing an appointment, doesn’t mean that your loved one is ready to move into skilled nursing. 

A skilled nursing home can be great options for both long-term and short-term patients. Below are some guidelines indicating that can help answer the question of what qualifies a patient for skilled nursing care:

Early nonmedical signs:

  • Begins to exhibit poor hygiene and/or an unkempt appearance
  • Shows obvious weight loss, indicating they may not be eating or drinking enough
  • Misses or stops taking medications
  • Loses interest in socializing
  • Exhibits unsteadiness walking
  • Demonstrates lack of good housekeeping, paying bills, etc.

Critical medical issues:

  • Cardiac failure
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Fall-related injury
  • Hip or bone fracture
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke

Cognitive concerns:

  • Asking the same questions over and over
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Being unable to follow instructions
  • Being confused about location, time and well-known people

It’s difficult to watch our loved ones age, especially when the aging process begins to involve serious illness or disease that affects their ability to remain independent. You will likely have a lot of questions. What kind of care do I need? What is skilled nursing? Does dad need long term care? The list goes on and on. We understand the choices and your situation can be confusing. When you choose Coastal Palms Nursing & Rehabilitation, a Touchstone community, you get a team of caregivers who use their gifts to be the hands and feet of God to meet your physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs. 

It’s also worth noting that skilled nursing care provided at a senior living community like Coastal Palms Nursing & Rehabilitation in Portland is utilized for both short and long-term care of residents. The healthcare options include: skilled nursing or short-term care, long-term care, rehabilitation therapies, memory care, and respite care. We look forward to getting to know you and your family and helping you get the answers you need.

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