Choosing a Skilled Nursing Facility

We often receive phone calls from clients who have a loved one that has been admitted to the hospital, and the family has been informed by the discharge planner that their loved one will soon be discharged to skilled nursing for rehabilitation. Currently, Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) are focusing on rehabilitation and short-term stays for patients, in the hopes of transitioning them back to their homes or assisted living facilities.

Many families do not realize that when they are being prepared for discharge, they have a choice about what facility their loved one will transition to. Be sure to work closely with the discharge planner about your desired location—ideally, a place close enough for you to visit regularly. The discharge planner or social worker assigned to your loved one should be able to provide a list of SNFs in the area that have available beds. Express your top choices so that your loved one’s paperwork can be sent from the hospital to the SNFs in order to potentially reserve a bed.

Before making a decision about a SNF, get as much information as possible about available options from a variety of sources: professionals in the long-term care field, local Long-Term Care Ombudsmen, friends and others who have been in a situation similar to yours. When you gather information, it is also helpful to learn about the various programs offered to help restore lost physical functioning for your loved one’s specific care needs (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy). Additionally, if time allows, a tour of the facility provides you the opportunity to talk with the staff, residents and family visitors.

Another helpful resource is | Nursing Home Compare, which has detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. States may collect and post additional information that is not collected by the Federal government. For more information, visit, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Senior Care Solutions is here to help guide you through the process of transitioning from the hospital to a SNF and share tools so that you can advocate for yourself and your loved one. Free assistance is just a phone call away! (916) 965-5565

Article provided by Senior Care Solutions Staff

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