A skilled nursing facility can provide a variety of services, and contrary to popular belief, it isn’t only for seniors nearing the end of their life. While you might not have thought about nursing homes much, it’s a good idea to do a little research, so if you ever need to use one for long-term care, you’re prepared. Long Beach is home to plenty of nursing facilities like Bixby Knolls Towers. This Best of Senior Living facility provides residential living but also has assisted living, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation services. Royal Care Skilled Nursing has rehabilitation services to help seniors return home faster, and Bel Vista Convalescent Hospital provides a small intimate environment to give each patient focused care.
Here is some other information you should know about nursing homes in the Long Beach area.
According to the Administration on Aging’s Profile of Older Americans, CDC Nursing Home FastStats, California Association of Health Facilities Nursing Facts and Statistics, and City of Long Beach Community Health Assessment:
The US had 15,600 nursing homes in 2014 and a total of 1.7 million beds.
California has 1,112 licensed facilities, and 25 are in Long Beach.
The average life expectancy in Long Beach is 78.6.
About 370,000 Californians reside in nursing homes, and the occupancy rates in nursing homes are around 88%.
Around 83% of nursing home residents in California got discharged after three months or less in 2015.
36% of seniors 65 and older have some disability that makes it hard to live alone.
Typically, seniors stay an average of three years in a nursing home but that isn’t the case for every senior. As mentioned above, many seniors in California stayed three months or less. Women tend to have longer average stays because they live longer than men. Your health condition will also influence how long you stay.
Nursing homes often provide a place for seniors to transition from the hospital to their home. If their prognosis is good, it makes it easier to get home faster. They can get therapy to rebuild their strength and skills all under the supervision of a skilled nursing facility.
There are also seniors that go to nursing homes for respite care. Family caregivers often work 24/7 and it’s important for them to take regular breaks so they don’t experience caregiver burnout. A skilled nursing facility is a perfect place for an elderly family member to get the care and supervision they need while you take a break. These short-term stays are also a good way to do a trial run on nursing homes in case you need to use one for long-term care in the future.
Nursing homes typically combine the medical care of a hospital with the personal care of a home health aide or assisted living facility. Seniors receive assistance with things like getting dressed, going to the bathroom, and getting in and out of bed. They can also get help with things like changing the dressings on wounds, managing medication, or monitoring a medical condition like high blood pressure or diabetes. Certified nursing assistants normally help with the personal care tasks while nurses and nurse practitioners care for the medical needs.
Therapy and rehabilitative services are another big part of nursing homes. Things like occupational, speech and physical therapy help residents get better faster and give them the chance to return home sooner. There are some patients who will not return home and when it’s necessary, hospice care is provided. This service not only helps patients but their families deal with the stress that the end of life can bring.
You will have a meal service at your facility as well. If you have special dietary needs, you might meet with a nutritionist to create the best meal plan for your recovery. Meals are often served in dining halls with nurses nearby to assist. This gives residents the chance to leave their room and socialize with their peers but you can also have the option to eat in your room.
Most nursing homes also have a full calendar with social events and spiritual meetings offered. Seniors can enjoy a movie, play board or card games, go to an arts and crafts class, sit with therapy pets, or even go on outings if they are well enough. Some homes also offer a variety of religious services, holiday celebrations, and prayer or bible groups.
Salon and barber services are common in nursing homes so seniors can look and feel their best when they have visitors. Some facilities might even have nail services and most of the time they will come to your room so you don’t have to travel.
California has a reputation for being costly and that does extend to long-term care facilities. The Genworth Cost of Care Survey for 2016 put the state average for a semi-private room at $91,250 per year and private rooms at $112,055 per year. The Long Beach area is a little less with semi-private rooms coming in at $83,220 and private rooms averaging $108,040. That breaks down to a monthly cost of $6,935 to $9,003.
These rates are averages and will go up or down based on numerous factors. The size and location of the facility will affect the cost as will how long you need to stay and the services you require. If you’re a Medicaid patient using an approved facility, your cost will be an agreed upon rate for the program. Low-income seniors that don’t meet the requirements for Medicaid might be able to talk with non-profit facilities about rates that fit their budgets.
The most important thing you can do before choosing a nursing home is plenty of research. Unfortunately, there are times when you have to act fast and that’s when a senior advisor might come in handy. If you do have time, make sure you look at facilities that are licensed and have a history of responding to complaints. Other requirements should include a good staff to patient ratio, impeccable inspection reports, and no problem answering all your questions honestly.
Visit each place you consider so you can see how clean everything is, talk to residents about their experience there, and watch staff interact with patients. The California Association of Health Care has more resources on questions you should ask and tools to compare different facilities.
Find assisted living in Long Beach near you.