You might not have thought much about nursing homes, but if you’re retired, it might be a good idea to give them some consideration. Most nursing homes are much more than a place for the elderly nearing the end of their life and Arlington has some great options. There is Arlington Villa Retirement and Nursing Community which offers skilled nursing along with a home-like setting for long-term patients that live there. Both Senior Care of Green Oaks and Matlock Place Health and Rehabilitation Center have services for patients there short-term and those that need to stay there for the long haul.
If you want to learn more about what nursing homes can do for you and what to look for when you start your search, this guide should be helpful.
There were 1.4 million Americans in nursing homes in 2014. Texas has about 1,215 certified nursing homes with 132,443 available beds. There are nine certified nursing homes located in Arlington. In 2014, Texas had an occupancy rate of 71.2%. 80 to 85% of residents in Texas nursing homes use Medicare or Medicaid for their funding.
Most seniors will live in a nursing home for about three years although the reason for their stay might be different. There are a few factors that could change the average length like women tend to live longer and stay longer in nursing homes. Chronic or severe illnesses and diseases can keep patients in a nursing home for years while minor issues might warrant a few weeks.
Short-term stays in nursing facilities are more common than most people realize and could be for a variety of reasons. If a patient needs a place to go after they leave the hospital, but before they fully recover, they might stay in a nursing home for a little while. A good example of this is a recent stroke victim who needs to work on speaking and walking again before they go back home.
Respite care also accounts for some short-term stays in skilled nursing. If a caregiver needs to take a break or is going on vacation, they can take their loved one to a nursing home for supervision while they are gone. These short visits are a safe way to test out a few local nursing homes to see what works best if you need long-term care in the future.
Nursing homes often employ many people to help their patients recover faster and get back home or to keep them comfortable. Certified nursing assistants can help patients do things like get dressed, go to the bathroom, get out of bed, and get in and out of a wheelchair. Nurses take care of things like medication and therapy schedules, changing bandages, checking vital signs, and overall well-being.
Therapists and therapy are an important part of most nursing homes because they help patients get stronger and go back home. Things like occupational, physical, and speech therapy can all help speed up the recovery process. Cardiac therapy or oxygen therapy are crucial recovery components for patients that have suffered a stroke, heart attack, or pneumonia. If there is not a chance a patient is going to recover, they can get hospice care. A care team will assist the patient and their family members during this tough time and make sure they have the support they need.
Since everyone needs to eat, meal plans play another significant role in patient recovery. Nutritionists make sure that each resident gets their dietary needs met during their stay. Patients can choose to eat in a dining hall where they can meet with family members and other visitors or socialize with the other residents. Eating in your room is also an option if you aren’t ready to eat with others.
Patients also enjoy active social calendars while in a nursing home. Social events like movies, live performances, therapy pets, game nights, holiday celebrations, and occasional outings are just a few things residents can do. Some nursing homes offer spiritual events as well that include religious services, Bible studies, and prayer groups.
Many facilities also have salon or barber services to help each patient look their best. Someone will come around to cut hair and shave and might also provide manicures or pedicures.
Seniors often worry about the cost of long-term care because it can be pricey. According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, in the Dallas area which includes Arlington, the average cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home is $54,933 per year. For a private room, the price goes up to $73,913 annually. You can expect to pay about $4,578 to $6,159 per month.
If this still seems too high, remember these are just averages and a few things go into the cost of nursing homes. The location and size of each facility as well as how long you stay and the services you use all factor into the cost. Medicaid patients will get an agreed upon rate in Medicaid approved nursing home facilities. If you’re a low-income senior but don’t meet the requirements of Medicaid, you might be able to negotiate a lower price for non-profit homes.
One of the best things you can do while looking for the right nursing home is plenty of research. The more you know about each place, the better decision you can make. If you’re short on time, a senior advisor or friends and family members can help you with the research. Start by looking at facilities with the proper license with a history of responding to complaints quickly. You can ask to see inspection reports, and they must show you. If they don’t, move on to the next facility.
You should also plan to visit various facilities so you can check the cleanliness of the facility and watch interactions between staff and patients. You can use this time to talk to current residents and even eat a meal with them. The Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities, as well as the Texas Health Care Association, have some great resources when you start your nursing home search.
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