A nursing home can offer more than just basic medical care, it can be a home where you feel comfortable and enjoy a good quality of life. There are many facilities in the St. Louis area that offer these things like Hidden Lake that offer on-site nurses and medical staff, various therapies, transportation services, and different living options from semi-private rooms to two bedroom apartments. Heritage Care Center of Berkeley is another option where you can get one on one attention from on-site nurses. The nursing home you choose all depends on your unique needs.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed as you start your search so hopefully this will help you know what to look for and learn more about nursing homes here in St. Louis.
In 2014, there were over 38,000 residents in Missouri in a nursing home. That’s about 2.8% of the US population.
In 2013, nursing and residential care centers accounted for $72 billion of the US economy.
The average length of a nursing home stay is about 3 years.
About 20% of the population 65 and older will need care for at least five years
An average stay at a nursing home tends to be around three years, with a little bit of extra time for women because they typically live longer than men. Your condition and the type of care that you need though is going to determine just how long you stay in a facility. Some people only stay a few short weeks while others need to stay for years.
Temporary stays at skilled nursing facilities are actually fairly common because they can act as a transition between the hospital and home. Let’s say you fell and broke your hip or leg, you might need surgery in a hospital, but afterward you could go to a nursing home to recover and get therapy to help you walk again. You might only stay at a nursing home for a few weeks until you’re cleared to go home as long as there are no complications.
Short-term care is also offered in the form of respite care for people who have a chronic condition that needs constant care. If they typically get care from home from a caregiver but that caregiver needs a break or has to attend to their own health or personal life, they might come to a nursing home temporarily until their caregiver can return to their duties.
A nursing home might conjure up images of elderly patients in a hospital-like setting, but there is so much more that is offered at these facilities. Along with help with daily tasks like getting out of bed, bathing, or grooming, nursing homes provide specific medical care. This can be things like monitoring of chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, medication management, well-being checks, physical therapy, and wound care. Medical services are provided by a nurse or certified nursing assistant and many places have a doctor on call.
Nursing homes can also have services that are specific to a certain condition like stroke patients or those with Alzheimer’s. This care can include speech therapy, occupational therapy, cognitive therapy, and many Alzheimer’s care facilities will have added security so patients can’t wander away or get lost.
Nutrition is an important part of health and meal plans at nursing homes will make sure all dietary needs and restrictions are kept in mind. Meal time also offers a chance for residents to socialize in the main dining hall while those who might not be as mobile or need help eating can dine in their rooms.
There are also other opportunities to socialize as many facilities will have social calendars with events like live entertainment, movie screenings, and weekly game nights. You can also find places that will host a variety of religious services or counseling so your spiritual well-being is also taken into account. Finally, you can find certain amenities like beauty or salon services to help you feel your best.
St. Louis is one of the few cities where the cost of nursing homes tends to be a little lower than the national average. In 2015, the average cost for a semi-private room in St. Louis was $60,225 and the average cost for a private room was $69,350. Now these are just averages and you can expect to pay anywhere from $114 to $380 per day.
These costs are lower than other places around the country but they are still high. If you get Medicaid benefits, you can find a facility that is certified and get a lower rate. If you don’t quite qualify for Medicaid but still have a low income or assets, you might be able to work with the facility to get a lower rate or different payment options. Make sure you talk with the director to see what choices are available.
The basic things you should look for when searching for a nursing home is that they are properly licensed, have enough staff to care for everyone, have a good yearly report, and show that complaints are met in a timely fashion. A senior care advisor can help you sort through the different nursing homes and find a quality facility.
Other than that, make a list of things that are important to you and go visit the places that meet your requirements. Check to see that the place is clean, the staff is friendly, and the residents seem happy there. You can find a thorough evaluation checklist here that can help you feel comfortable with your choice.
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