Whether your search is for yourself or a loved one, there are practical factors to think through when making an informed decision about skilled nursing care. These are issues we hope to clarify for you here. And, as we do, we look to Luther Manor, an industry leader with more than 55 years of experienced senior health care management, as the perfect reference for everything you need to know about skilled nursing care.
Understanding The Different Levels Of Care
As you’re probably already aware, the terminology associated with levels of senior care is diverse and varies from community to community. Luther Manor identifies seven specific levels of care, each with definitive caregiving practices, services, and amenities. The community is dedicated to helping you find the level of care you need and want to support a thriving lifestyle—even if it becomes necessary to transition from one level of care to another.
All levels of care offered at Luther Manor are detailed on the website. In addition, we invite you to download the community’s Aging & Care Services Booklet as a handy resource. You might also consult our recent blog that explains the difference between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Care—often confused in the search process.
What Is Skilled Nursing Care?
Skilled Nursing is a term that refers to a patient’s need for care or treatment that can only be performed by licensed nurses. The Health Care Center at Luther Manor has a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) on staff for 24-hour medical support.
At Luther Manor, grounded in Midwestern values with a Christian mission of care, you’ll also find a support staff of caregivers made up of local employees and residents with real, genuine, homegrown values. This means so much to Health Care Center residents. Besides the advantage of ease and comfort for the patient, staff members get to know the residents, anticipate their needs, and can recognize and address problems early.
What Care Services Are Commonly Offered?
Care administered by RNs and LPNs within a skilled nursing setting generally include complex wound dressings, rehabilitation, tube feedings, or rapidly changing health status such as accident victims or people who’ve developed or contracted a serious illness. In addition, people who have experienced strokes often require skilled nursing care in the form of rehabilitation, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy to get them back to their independent lifestyle as quickly as possible.
What Skilled Care Services Are Offered At Luther Manor?
The Health Care Center provides assistance with the activities of daily living, meals, medication administration, and wound care. Although a family physician is generally the first to prescribe all skilled nursing services, an in-house physician is present at Luther Manor five days a week and a wound nurse practitioner visits weekly to collaborate with physicians and the nursing staff ensuring the highest level of professional and compassionate care for residents.
In addition, Health Care Center residents at Luther Manor have access to a variety of health services during normal business hours, which include, rehabilitation therapies, ophthalmology, dentistry, podiatry, and geriatric psychiatry—all conveniently located within the onsite clinic. According to Julie Jolitz, Chief Clinician Officer for Luther Manor, “We also admit higher acuity patients and successfully rehab them back into the community. We perform onsite ECGs to help detect change so we can provide early intervention avoiding release to an ER for assessment. And our full-time in-house physician makes rounds on our skilled rehab patients, too. These are services that set us apart from other care resources in the community.”
Where Do You Begin Looking?
Having the time to make your decision regarding skilled nursing care works to your advantage. The opposite is true if you or a loved one requires immediate care because of a critical, one-time health event. Let’s say you as a family have a little more time to make a skilled nursing decision. The skilled care needed has been administered within the home, but the patient’s needs now exceed what a family member or home healthcare worker can perform. You’ve all decided it’s time to start looking at skilled nursing communities for the level of care needed.
Do your research first. Try to visit communities. Ask about policies and routines. You can also look at reviews online from previous skilled nursing patients or their family members. Of course, the gold standard is getting a referral from someone you know personally with experience at a skilled nursing community. Admitting a loved one to skilled nursing is a big step, so it’s important to not make a hasty decision you might later regret.
Early in the process, you can expect that the community will want to perform an evaluation in order to uncover the unique challenges facing the potential resident. The objective is to create an individualized treatment plan that will include, not only care services prescribed by the physician, but also meals, medication administration, health visits, physical, speech and occupational therapy, and social activities. At Luther Manor, for instance, an admissions team comprised of RNs and social workers perform both pre-admission and admission assessments in order to insure the resident will receive the care and support needed. Immediate family members are included in this planning, because Luther Manor treats all residents and their family members as an extension of the community family.
How Does The Skilled Nursing Community Avoid Infections?
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has provided the ultimate test for the senior care industry. If you’re considering Luther Manor for skilled nursing care, a review of the community’s extensive COVID-19 regulations and processes for keeping both residents and employees safe will put your mind at ease. Note that infection-control practices for employees such as yearly flu shots and hand-washing are very much a part of critical prevention practices.
“To partner with our area hospitals to meet the community needs such as having a COVID positive unit, as well as to provide state-of-the-art nursing care allowing our residents to return to their previous living environment are the Health Care Center’s primary goals,” says Julie. Having a clear understanding of all these processes and goals readily available to you is important in any search for skilled nursing care. You have a right to ask—and a right to know.
Being Ready For Whatever Lies Ahead
Luther Manor continues to promote A Sensible Strategy for Life’s What-ifs. As a non-profit life plan community, Luther Manor is dedicated to finding the level of care residents need to thrive. Even if skilled nursing care isn’t the immediate need, families can be assured that, as healthcare needs change, Luther Manor provides peace of mind and everything a senior needs to age in place. Seniors can feel well-prepared for all future lifestyle changes thanks to predictable, streamlined costs, convenient services, and the availability of onsite care options for every level of need. As a senior, you might seriously consider making a move to a life plan community such as Luther Manor in order to benefit from this incredible peace of mind and continue to get on with the independent lifestyle you enjoy.
A Final Word
There’s a lot to consider in searching for skilled nursing care. And Luther Manor has the resources and staff to help you navigate through all your questions and concerns. The ultimate result? Peace of mind and confidence you made another good decision in life. Contact us today!