If you find yourself in need of a nursing home, you might not know where to look first. Most seniors have an idea of what nursing homes entail, but there is a lot of information and several types of care available. Lincoln has some exceptional nursing home facilities in the area, and each one offers their residents individual care. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital is a comprehensive health care system that provides rehabilitative services, therapy, and they have a long-term care facility with a full list of care and services. Homestead Healthcare and Rehabilitation has a more intimate setting with only 102 patients and a staff ratio of one to seven. You could also choose a place like Holmes Lake Rehabilitation and Care Center that provides long-term care with additional therapy and other services.
No matter your health needs, you can find a facility in Lincoln. In this guide, you will learn about the cost of care, services offered at most nursing homes, and how to find the perfect fit for your budget and lifestyle.
According to the sources CMS, Nursing Home Data Compendium; CDC Nursing Home, FastStats; Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Unit on Aging; and American Health Care Association, Fast Facts:
The US had over 15,600 nursing home facilities in 2015 with about 1.7 million residents.
Nebraska has 215 nursing home facilities and about 15,651 beds available.
22% of the nursing home population stays for less than 100 days, and 78% stays for longer than 100 days.
In 2014, Nebraska nursing facilities had an occupancy rate of 75.9%.
About 8% of the nursing facilities in Nebraska are in a hospital.
While there are differences for each person, the average duration of a nursing home stay is about three years. However, that isn’t the case for every senior because things like gender, health, and the severity of your condition can come into play. A female senior might stay in a nursing home longer because women tend to live longer than men. The length of any stay could range from a few weeks to a few years.
Short-term stays are more common in nursing homes than many people realize because these facilities serve as a transition period between being in the hospital and going home. Rather than stay in a hospital for the entirety of their recovery, many seniors go to a nursing home to receive therapy and other rehabilitative care. For instance, a senior who broke their hip after a fall might go to a nursing home to get physical therapy before returning home. If there are no complications, they could be home in a few weeks.
Another reason for a short-term stay could be respite care. Many nursing homes offer respite care to family caregivers as a way to take a break and avoid caregiver burnout. Also, sometimes caregivers need to be away from their loved ones for longer than a few hours, and nursing homes can provide the care they require. You can use these small respite care stays to try different nursing homes and find one you like, in case you need long-term care in the future.
You might have a vague idea of what goes on in a nursing home, but there are a lot of services and programs they offer that can be helpful to seniors. These facilities are considered a step below hospitals and can take care of both personal and medical needs. Certified nursing assistants (CNA’s), under the supervision of a nurse, can help residents get dressed, get in and out of bed, change bedding, and care for daily grooming tasks. Nurses themselves will handle medical needs like medication schedules, bandaging wounds, checking vital signs, and coordinating therapy programs.
Therapy is a big part of many nursing homes, especially for short-term residents because it can help them heal faster and return home. Seniors who have fallen or had another injury might use physical therapy to strengthen their muscles and begin walking again. Occupational therapy assists patients with daily tasks like brushing their teeth or writing their name. Speech therapy is especially useful for stroke patients and helps them learn to talk or swallow. Patients with a terminal illness can use hospice services to manage their pain and end of life wishes.
Everyone needs to eat, and a healthy diet can be a big significant for recovery. Meal plans in nursing homes can be tailored to the needs of each resident and served in a group setting. Eating together allows residents to meet with loved ones or socialize with their peers. Patients can also choose to eat in their rooms if they aren’t ready to eat with others yet.
Nursing homes also ensure that there are plenty of social activities for residents so they can enjoy their time at the facility and feel more at home. Events might include a game or trivia night, movie screenings, arts and crafts, therapy dogs, performances from local groups, and possible outings. On the spiritual side of things, many homes have a variety of religious services, Bible studies, holiday celebrations, and prayer groups.
Cost is a crucial factor in choosing a nursing home, and Genworth Cost of Care Survey estimates that for a semi-private room in a nursing home, you’ll pay an average of $73,913 per year. A private room jumps to $87,418 annually. That breaks down to about $6,159 to $7,285 per month, and while Lincoln is a little higher than other cities, it is still competitively priced. Omaha monthly rates are around $5,901 to $6,585 per month, and Grand Island is $5,019 to $5,277 per month.
Your total cost will depend on many things like the size and location of the nursing home as well as how long you need to stay and the services you use while there. Medicaid will help cover the cost for low-income seniors, and some nonprofit facilities might be willing to negotiate a lower rate for older adults with a smaller budget.
No matter what, you should do your research before you choose a facility. If you’re tight on time, ask friends and family to help with the search or use the services of a senior advisor. Only look at facilities that have the proper license and ask to see their inspection records. They should have a good history of responding to and resolving any complaints.
Visit as many facilities as you can because this can help you gauge the cleanliness and see how the staff interacts with the residents. You can also talk with current residents and ask to eat a meal in the cafeteria. Cross check each facility with online reviews, and if you need more information on how to choose a nursing home, you can check with the Nebraska Health Care Association.
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