While not many seniors are particularly excited about moving into a nursing home, the fact is that two-thirds of older adults will need long-term care in their lifetime. Luckily, Florida is known for its incredible care options. In Jacksonville specifically, you have several dozen skilled nursing facilities to choose from, many of which provide care above and beyond the basics. For example, Cypress Village offers an impressive array of care options including independent and assisted living, as well as nursing home care. Each one of the facilities around town has a personality of its own, giving you lots of options to find the right fit for your needs.
To help with the process, here we will go over the basics of nursing home care in Jacksonville including details on the average monthly costs, services you can expect to see, and important search criteria for a facility.
Jacksonville is home to over 40 skilled nursing facilities, the majority of which also provide Alzheimer’s and dementia care.
The state of Florida had 73,275 residents in 2014.
The average duration of a long-term care residency is 3 years.
20 percent of seniors reside in long-term care for over 5 years.
As we discussed in our quick facts, 3 years is the average time a senior will live in a nursing home. Women typically have a longer stay than men as they live longer, but each senior will be different. Depending on your medical conditions and care needs, your stay could be anywhere from a few short weeks to several years.
Long-term nursing home care is designed for patients with chronic health conditions who need consistent access to care. Short-term care is also available in situations where additional medical care is needed before returning to the home, such as following a hospitalization or surgery.
Respite care is a version of short-term care designed for caregivers of dementia or Alzheimer’s patients. Nursing homes have programs to give care to seniors with these needs while caregivers take some time off for their personal needs. These short-term options are a valuable way to get to know a facility in case your medical needs change over time and long-term care becomes a necessity.
Nursing homes exist to offer skilled nursing care on an as-needed basis to residents. This can include assistance from certified nurse assistants (CNA’s) with activities of daily life like bathing and dressing, or medical assistance like wound care and medication management. The CNA staff all report to the facility registered nurse.
Other medical services offered on-site at skilled nursing facilities could include physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy as well as Hospice services for seniors with life-ending illnesses.
Meals that meet balanced nutritional standards and any doctor recommendations are provided daily and served in the common dining room. Residents also have the option to eat in their rooms if they desire, and CNA’s are available to help with feeding if needed.
Keeping residents entertained and engaged is important and skilled nursing facilities will have daily and weekly activities like board games, sing-a-longs, holiday celebrations, and movie nights to keep things fun. Seniors with religious needs may have access to study groups and worship services on the property weekly.
Residents may also be able to take advantage of discounted services offered at beauty salons or barbershops on the premises.
In the Cost of Care survey conducted in 2015 by Genworth, they found that nursing home residents paid a median of $7,658 for semi-private and $8,821 for private housing monthly at a facility. Compared to the averages throughout the state of Florida these rates are higher; as a state the medians were $7,300 and $8,060 monthly respectively.
It’s important to note that these are the middle of the line figures, and facilities throughout the Jacksonville area will be at many ends of the spectrum based on their amenities, their size, and their location. Seniors on Medicaid will want to ensure that the nursing home they choose accepts the Medicaid rates and appointment. Those who don’t qualify but still need financial assistance should seek out non-profit facilities to inquire about negotiating lower rates based on financial need.
There are a few important things every good nursing home has in common. They all have current state licenses, clean inspection reports, and a good history of resolving any complaints. They also have a clean facility with a friendly and approachable staff and good staff to patient ratios. Visit any facility you’re considering and sample the food, talk with a few of the staff and observe the cleanliness and security of the building before making a decision.
It’s also smart to read online reviews of the property from residents or their family, and to do research through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs website on the nursing home.
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