A short-term skilled nursing facility is an important step on the journey to recovery that typically comes after a hospital stay. The care that you or a loved one receive during this time can drastically improve your health, your mood, and your overall well-being, which is why it is so important to take great care when choosing the right location.
There are many different factors to consider, and the questions to ask when looking for a short-term rehabilitation center should include ones that will help you assess the location, care, staff, costs, and more.
There are many aspects to consider in terms of location when choosing a short-term skilled nursing facility, and particularly the location’s distance to all the important amenities that you or your loved one may need:
- How close is the nearest hospital in case of an emergency? (This is also important because you may be responsible for transportation between the hospital and the short-term nursing facility)
- How far away will loved ones be?
- How close are any special services that you or your loved one may need?
General Care and Therapy
In addition to knowing what kind of therapy and care you or your loved one may need, you will also have to compare that to what is available:
- Do you or your loved one need speech, physical, or occupational therapy? If so, does the short-term nursing facility provide it on-site?
- Is there a therapy gym, pool, or rehabilitative facility at the location?
- What other medical professionals are available on-site (such as dentists or optometrists)?
- Can the staff provide all assistance with the activities of daily living if necessary?
Questions When Visiting the Facility
Visiting the location is a crucial step in the process. When you are at the facility, make notes and ask questions such as:
- How old is the building, or when was it last updated?
- Is the interior warm and welcoming?
- Are semi-private or private rooms available?
- Is there a common dining and living area for residents to get to know each other?
- Are there private areas for residents and their families to have time alone?
- What kind of food is on the menu, and can special diets be accommodated?
- Is the inside bright, well-lit, and inviting?
Assessing the Staff
Staff can make or break a short-term skilled nursing facility, and you should ask questions to assess skills and training, as well as, friendliness and personality:
- Are there people on staff who have the qualifications to provide you or your loved one with any specialized care you may need?
- What is the staff to resident ratio?
- Do the staff seem warm and patient with the residents?
Looking at the Costs
For most people, cost is an important element to consider when choosing care programs, because most people do not have an unlimited healthcare budget. When assessing costs, ask questions like:
- What are the monthly rates?
- What does that rate include?
- Are there any extras that will need to be paid for separately (such as phone, internet, and television, etc.)?
- Do they accept Medicaid or insurance?
Choosing the right short-term skilled nursing facility is a critical step in the recovery process. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right location for you and your needs, including the distance of the location from loved ones and amenities, the care and therapies available, the qualifications of the staff, and the amenities and the building itself.
Touring a short-term nursing facility before deciding is extremely beneficial, so make it a priority to arrange a visit before making your decision.