Preparing a Parent for a Long-Term Skilled Nursing Facility
Documents and Conversations You Need to Have With Your Parent
You were hoping it wouldn’t happen. You didn’t want your parent or spouse to need skilled nursing, but you’re no longer able to care for them at home.
But how do you help your loved one transition to skilled nursing care?
Let us guide you through the conversations and documents you should have in order to prepare.
What Is a Long-Term Skilled Nursing Facility?
We don’t like the word “facility.” We prefer the term “community” because that’s the type of atmosphere we create here at East Carolina Rehabilitation and Wellness.
Skilled nursing provides round-the-clock medical care for those who are unable to live on their own. We provide the skills of a highly trained nursing staff and take care of the mundane tasks of everyday living. We create delicious and nutritious home-cooked meals and provide activities for our residents.
First: Preparing for Skilled Nursing Care
Talking to your parent –or spouse—about skilled nursing care isn’t easy. However, it’s vital to not only have the conversation but to have it in a positive way.
It often helps to have other family members on your “side,” agreeing that maybe assisted living or skilled nursing care is needed. This way, as a group, you’ll be able to gently express your concern.
Be sure to present the information gently and in a loving manner.
Do not threaten to “put them in a home.”
If at all possible, start the conversation early and slowly. This will give your loved one time to get adjusted to the idea. It takes a while to let the gravity of the situation “sink in.”
Get them involved in the process.
This may mean having them take a virtual tour or speaking with them about what qualities they want in a skilled nursing facility.
Finally, be gentle with yourself.
You will go through a lot of emotions: guilt, stress, sadness and perhaps even relief. Realize that this is normal. Give yourself time to process these feelings and don’t blame yourself for not being able to care for your loved one at home.
It’s also a good idea to prepare yourself in case your parent refuses to go into any type of assisted living or skilled nursing care. We’ve provided a useful guide on what to do that will help you.
Second: Look Into Medicare/ Medicaid Funding
We’ll be frank: Medicare and Medicaid can be confusing. Terms and rules may change from year to year, and your benefits may depend upon what type of Medicare you have. That’s why it’s always important to check Medicare’s official government site to keep abreast of what will and will not be covered.
But don’t worry. We’ve helped hundreds of residents navigate this challenging process and we have the information you need to know to prepare your parent for moving into a skilled nursing facility.
Third: Do What You Can to Ease the Transition
Your parent or spouse is moving into a new location. Be sure they take a few things with them that will remind them of home. This may be photographs or a special quilt. Just check with us before you bring in larger items. We want to be sure that they won’t present a tripping hazard and that they won’t interfere with care.
A lot of times, moving into a skilled nursing community means downsizing. If at all possible, make sure your loved one has a say in what to store/keep and what to give away or sell. It might help if siblings or children hold the items for them.
Fourth: Prepare Documents You Should Have for Advanced Care Planning
While we will get medical records from your loved one’s physician, we do recommend that you have a copy for your own records.
Also, bring copies of your Medicare/ Medicaid cards.
We also recommend that you have the following documents filed in a safe place where they can be located easily:
- Health care power of attorney (This document establishes who will make the medical decisions in case your loved one is unable to.)
- Living Will
- Authorization to release health care information
- Any long-term care insurance policies
- Emergency information sheet
Brook Stone: Helping Prepare Your Loved One for a Nursing Home in Greenville, NC
We believe in the power and strength that is found in community.
We know that providing quality care goes far beyond medical excellence. It centers around offering a safe place to relax and grow.
- Delicious home-cooked meals
- 24/7 nursing care
- Home-like rooms
- Religious/worship services
- A variety of activities
See what makes us different. But hurry, our spaces fill quickly.
For more information, contact us for a virtual tour.