Tips for Choosing a Long-Term Care Facility

Tips for Choosing a Long-Term Care Facility

Nearly half of all women and a quarter of all men over age 65 will at some point enter a long-term care facility or nursing home. While many of these stays are short to allow for a supervised recovery from an injury or illness, other stays are for extended periods of time. More than one-third of long-term care facility stays last longer than a year, and about 10 percent last more than three years.

While most people would prefer to avoid long-term care facilities, there are times when there are no other good options. Therefore, when it becomes necessary for a senior to move into a nursing home, it is important to consider the level of care needed before selecting the facility.

Below is some information you should know when making this decision:

  • Hospital-based facilities: Typically known as extended care facilities, these are meant for residents who require the highest levels of medical and nursing care. Services include 24-hour monitoring and intensive rehabilitation and physical therapy. Most people who stay in these facilities are there on a short-term basis until they can go elsewhere. They are commonly used for patients suffering from a serious injuries or illnesses.
  • Skilled nursing facilities: These facilities, while not located in hospitals, still provide a high level of medical and nursing care for individuals who have impairments that require close supervision, but not necessarily around-the-clock monitoring. These 24/7 services are available from licensed nurses, and at least one supervising registered nurse must be on duty at all times. These facilities are usually for short-term recoveries from serious injuries or illnesses. Most stays last days to weeks.
  • Intermediate care facilities: An ICF offers less nursing and medical care than a skilled nursing facility and places more emphasis on personal care and assistance. There is still always a licensed nurse on duty. Residents do not need the same level of nursing care a skilled nursing facility provides.
  • Custodial care facility: The primary purpose of these facilities is to provide assistance with personal needs and offer low-level (not intensive) nursing care. These facilities are much less expensive than other options and usually provide some social, recreational and educational opportunities. Residents may remain in these facilities for a longer period of time, with annual pricing available.

For further guidance on selecting a long-term care facility for you or a loved one, contact an experienced Tampa estate planning attorney with BaumannKangas Estate Law.