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Important Nursing Home Terms
Understanding the terms used to describe nursing homes and other care facilities will help you better grasp the services they offer. Below are some important terms to know before looking for a living facility.
Nursing Home - A nursing home offers the highest level of assistance available. Staff will help a geriatric patient with dressing and hygiene.
Assisted Living Facility - Assisted living facilities allow seniors to maintain their independence, but still receive limited help completing daily tasks. Each assisted living facility has different levels of health required for residents. For example, some facilities may require that a resident must be able to dress and bathe without assistance.
Retirement Community - A retirement community offers living arrangements for retired seniors. In most cases, a senior must be in good health and cannot need daily assistance in order to live there.
Medication Assistance - Medication assistance allows a nurse or other professional administer medication on a regular schedule. This service is helpful for patients who have difficulty following a schedule.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) - A CNA helps the elderly with daily tasks and errands that do not involve administering medication. They may be supervised by an LPN or RN.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) - A LPN can administer injections, dress wounds, and offer massages. They are supervised by a RN.
Registered Nurse (RN) - A RN is a trained professional who can administer medication in a nursing home setting.
Medicare - Medicare is a government program. It provides aid to low-income seniors who require at-home or residential care.
If you are sick, injured, elderly, or need personal care for some other ailment or disability, consider getting an in-home nurse. Look in the yellow pages and online for a home nurse agency near you. Check out all of their in-home services while keeping your specific needs in mind. New moms will want to find a nursing referral company that specializes in pediatric care, while seniors would be more interested in an agency that focuses on geriatric services, like physical therapy. Nurses are certified to administer medication and provide overall care for patients; agencies make sure of this before sending them out. Once you have found a few agencies in the area, begin reading reviews of their services online, especially the ones that are from people in similar circumstances. Asking friends and family what they have done in the past for their home nursing needs is also a good way to find a company you will like. If you are thinking about admitting a parent or other loved one to an assisted living or retirement facility, make sure they will be receiving the personal nursing care they need. It is always a good idea to check with your health care provider to see what they will cover. Typically, your health care will help out, but they also may have a specific list of nursing companies you can use. After determining what is covered by insurance and reading a fair amount of reviews, compare prices, and go with the residential caregiver that is the best value.