Moving into a nursing home is a big decision and one that requires research and knowing your options. While you might not have thought about it before, it’s a good idea to learn about these facilities before you need one. Seattle is home to many facilities that offer excellent care like Ida Culver House Broadview. This place has not only independent and assisted living but also has skilled nursing and memory care. Ballard Care and Rehabilitation can help seniors with therapy, or short-term visits after they’ve been ill or had a surgery and Terraces at Skyline First Hill has a full continuum of care so seniors can stay in one spot as they age.
There are plenty of other facilities in the area, and this guide will help you learn more general information about skilled nursing in Seattle.
In 2014, about 3.2% of the population 65 and older lived in a nursing home; however, by age 85 that number jumped to about 10%.
Washington contains 222 certified nursing homes, and Seattle has 32 certified homes in the area.
81.2% of the beds in Washington were occupied in 2014, which is about a 1% decrease from 2010.
About 50% of the nursing homes in Washington are non-profit.
On average, most seniors will remain in a nursing home about three years, but there are a lot of factors that contribute to that number. Since women tend to live longer than men, their average stay is a little longer and can get closer to five years. The amount of care each senior needs, as well as their current condition, will also factor into the length of each stay.
Nursing homes are also not always used for long-term stays. While most residents are there because of a complicated illness or condition, there are a few who only stay at a skilled nursing facility for a short time. Many older adults use nursing homes as a transition between the hospital and their home. If they just had surgery or were sick with something like pneumonia but are getting better, they might stay at a nursing home until they are fully ready to return home. Nursing homes often have different therapies that can help these patients recover faster.
You can also find respite care at many facilities, which is helpful for family caregivers. Many seniors use family members to look after their health needs, and that can be a demanding 24/7 job. Respite care helps avoid caregiver burnout and offers a place that older adults can still get care while their regular caregiver takes a break. It’s also a good option if you’re going on vacation or will be away for longer than a day and it gives you a chance to feel out different facilities and decide which is best if you need long-term care in the future.
The first things nursing homes care for are personal assistance tasks and medical care. Personal care includes bathing, grooming, getting dressed, getting in and out of bed, moving around the facility, and help with going to the bathroom. Medical assistance is help with things like wound care after surgery or fall, medication management, scheduling the proper therapy, and monitoring chronic conditions like heart problems or diabetes.
Patients can also gain access to the various types of treatments. There might be speech therapy or therapy that helps patients swallow after a stroke. Occupational therapy can help seniors relearn how to do daily tasks and get stronger so they can return home. Physical therapy helps those with broken bones or other conditions that keep them from moving. Hospice is available for patients that are nearing the end of their life. Both the patient and their family can benefit from the services provided by hospice care teams.
Meals are another service provided and will contain the proper nutrition for each resident. Seniors might meet with a nutritionist or dietician to determine the best diet for their needs. Meals are usually provided in a dining hall setting so people can get out of their rooms and socialize with each other. Nurses will be on hand to help with eating if needed and you might also have the option to eat in your room if you prefer.
Social and religious activities are also a big part of nursing facilities. Seniors can join in things like movie screenings, game nights, holiday celebrations, live entertainment, pray groups, and a variety of religious services. Seniors that are able might also have a chance to go outside the nursing home for field trips to the local mall or other destination.
Other amenities at these places might include things like salon and nail services or regular barbershop visits. This gives residents a chance to freshen up before visitors arrive and helps them feel and look their best.
Most of the rates in Seattle are a little higher than the state averages. According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey in 2016, the average annual cost of a semi-private room was $114,679 for Seattle and $96,725 for the whole state. A private room cost about $126,337 in Seattle and $107,675 for the rest of the state. In Seattle, the monthly cost breaks down to about $9,557 for a semi-private room and $10,528 for a private room.
Keep in mind that these are just average prices and there is a wide range in rates for Seattle. The location and facility size will change the cost of service as well as the care you need and how long you stay in the facility. Medicaid approved facilities will offer their own agreed upon rates for Medicaid patients while non-profit institutions might be able to work with low-income seniors on the cost. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid and can’t afford services, you can talk with the facility to see what they can work out.
You must put in some research when you’re looking for the right nursing home. If you don’t have a lot of time, it’s a good idea to recruit friends and family to help or use a senior advisor to look at more options. First, only choose facilities that are properly licensed and have a history of listening to and resolving complaints. They should also have good staff to patient ratio and be clean and orderly. If you have questions, they should give you clear and straightforward answers. It should never feel like they are hiding anything from you.
If possible, try to visit each facility because then you can see how the staff works with patients and each other and get a feel for the place. The Washington Health Care Association has more tips and information on choosing the right skilled nursing home for your needs.
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