What is a SNF?
“Nursing Facilities are for people who don’t have loved ones to care for them.” “Nursing Homes smell horrible.” “Once you go in a nursing home, you never leave.” “I would never put my mom in a nursing home.”
Unbelievably, these are all lies. Nursing homes not only are a vital part of our continuum of healthcare, but they serve an important role in changing the lives of those in the community. It is easy at a younger age to beg your family to “never put you in a home”, however that is a steep burden to bear for children as life progresses. A nursing home prepares a person for being functional in his/her home after a surgery, or provides the ability for children to be children as disease progression takes a toll on the lives of parents.
Skilled Nursing Facilities serve two types of patients, the short-term patient and the long-term patient. The short-term patient is out of surgery and may need a few days of therapy to get strong enough to go home either alone or with home health. The long-term stay is where the patient finds a new home in the skilled nursing facility.
Currently, the continuum of healthcare is trending to reduce the amount of patients sent to skilled nursing facilities. Thus, patients who truly need vigorous rehabilitation after a surgery are instead sent directly home. It is up to families in some cases to propose the idea that the patient may need skilled nursing. Which, as earlier discussed, families do not want to make that decision.
Skilled nursing facilities not only offer therapy and nursing, but also fine dining that is customized to fit the individual patient’s needs and preferences. The facility also offers social services that allow transition to home to be completely organized for families. Moreover, social services offers access to many community resources that loved ones may not know exist. The programming department of a skilled nursing facility makes available social opportunities to keep the patient active and busy throughout his/her stay. Overall, a skilled nursing facility provides an individualized experience to help transition the patient quickly home or provide a higher quality of life for the long-term stay.
“I don’t know what I would do without you; my dad could not function alone at home.” ”I was not excited about staying at a skilled nursing facility, but this was just what I needed!” “My dad is so much happier now that he is not mom’s caregiver; it was too much for him.” “My mom never left her bed until she came here, THANK YOU.”
Skilled nursing facilities tend to get a bad rap. However, it is there you will find some of the most passionate health care professionals ready and waiting to change your loved one’s life. Life does not end when you enter a facility; instead, a new season of life begins!