Nursing homes are often associated with seniors who don’t have much time left, but they offer a variety of services that can be helpful to an entire range of older adults. Maryland Gardens Senior Living in Tempe has both skilled nursing and assisted living lifestyles, so seniors don’t have to leave their home if their health status changes. Friendship Village Tempe offers independent lifestyles but also has a continuum of care that includes skilled nursing services, rehabilitation therapy, and memory care. No matter your need, you can find the help you want in Tempe.
This guide will help you learn more about what nursing homes can do for you. It also outlines costs in Tempe and what you should look for if you need to use a nursing home in the future.
In 2014, there were 15,600 nursing homes in the US.
About 3.2% of Americans 65 and older lived in an institution in 2014. 20% of men and 36% of women in this age group lived alone.
Arizona has 148 certified nursing homes and 16,456 available beds.
In 2014, Arizona had an occupancy rate of 70.1%, which was a 5% decrease from 2010.
On average, most older adults will stay about three years in a nursing facility. There are a few factors that can influence that time though. For instance, women live longer than men so their average length of stay could increase. The range for staying in a nursing home can be as little as a few weeks to as long as years.
While nursing homes take care of many people with chronic conditions or long-term illnesses, they also care for people on a short-term basis. Many seniors use a nursing home during transitions from the hospital to their home. If they have broken a bone in their leg but are otherwise healthy, they might go to a nursing home for a brief time to receive therapy before returning home.
There are also nursing homes that offer respite care which is an immense help for family caregivers. Family members who care for an elderly loved one often work 24/7 and run the risk of caregiver burnout. Nursing home respite care offers them a chance to take a break for a week or more while their loved one is still cared for. These short-term stays for respite care can also serve as trial runs in case you need to use a nursing home for long-term care in the future.
Nursing homes are a step above assisted living facilities and they will take care of both personal and medical assistance. Certified nursing assistants handle tasks like bathing, grooming, getting in and out of bed, or wheelchair transfers. Nurses on staff will handle medical tasks like changing the dressing on wounds, managing medication, and monitoring vitals as well as any chronic conditions like diabetes.
There are also a variety of therapies offered in nursing homes to help patients working to get better and go back home. Speech therapy can help recent stroke victims learn to talk and swallow again while occupational therapy can help ill seniors get better at daily tasks. Physical therapy is helpful for seniors working to walk after a recent fall or another injury. If a resident isn’t going to get better or return home, hospice care can help. Patients and their families will get help during this time from a care team of doctors, nurses, therapists, and social workers.
Meals are another part of nursing home life and will be tailored to your specific dietary needs. You might even meet with a nutritionist if necessary. Meals are usually served in a dining hall so residents can get out of their room and socialize, but nurses will be on hand to assist if necessary and patients can eat in their room if they would prefer.
Social events are quite common and residents can enjoy things like movies, game groups, live entertainment, arts and crafts, exercise classes, and daily or weekly outings if they are well enough. Some nursing homes also offer spiritual events like religious services, holiday celebrations, prayer meetings, and Bible study groups.
Residents might also be able to get salon, barber, or nail services if requested. Someone will come around to the patient’s room and help them freshen up if they are expecting visitors or just want to feel better about their look during their stay.
Nursing home costs can be high, so it’s an excellent idea to get a feel for rates in your area. The cost in the Tempe area is right around the state median with semi-private rooms costing $75,555 per year and private rooms costing $95,630. That breaks down into a monthly cost of $6,296 for semi-private and $7,969 for private.
Rates can vary based on a few different factors such as the location of the facility and its size as well as how long you need to stay there. The services you use while at the nursing home will also change the cost. If you’re a Medicaid patient and use a Medicaid approved facility, the rate will be the agreed upon cost. If you’re a low-income senior but don’t qualify for Medicaid, you might be able to use a non-profit facility and negotiate a rate that fits your budget.
Research is one of the most important first steps when you look for a nursing home. If you don’t have a lot of time, consider using family members to help you search or hire a senior advisor. You want to choose from places that have the proper license and a history of responding promptly to complaints. The facility should also have a good inspection record and allow you to see those reports. If you feel like they are hesitant to answer your questions or show you anything, move on to the next place.
If you can, visit each facility because this gives you a feel for the environment. You can see how clean it is, how the staff interacts with the residents, and you might even be able to talk with residents and eat a meal there. You can go online to the Arizona Health Care Association and use their resources to help figure out the questions you should be asking and what you should look for at each nursing home.
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