Finding a care facility for a loved one is a difficult process and one that must not be taken lightly. It is estimated that as many as 300,000 people being cared for in nursing homes in California. There are many things to consider when choosing between facilities. One of the most important things to decide is the type of nursing care home to select. There are two types of nursing care facilities. It is important to understand the differences between the two when choosing a place for a parent, spouse, or other elderly relative.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Skilled nursing facilities, or SNFs, provide care to the elderly and others who generally require nursing or medical care on a regular basis. These facilities are also sometimes called convalescent hospitals or rehabilitation centers. These centers are licensed through the California Department of Public Health Licensing and Certification Division. This requires annual inspections. Additionally, for Medi-Cal and Medicare certification the facility must meet stringent state and federal requirements. Typically, SNFs are staffed with skilled caregivers such as nurses and other medical professionals. These facilities are designed for those who are in need of around-the-clock nursing care.
Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly
Residential care facilities for the elderly, or RCFEs, are primarily for elderly individuals who are able to perform most, or all, of their daily tasks on their own. RCFEs provide daily assistance with medication and daily living but do not give 24-hour care. These residential homes are usually set up to provide long-term care to residents. The caregivers in these facilities give residents help with the most important daily functions including bathing, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, eating, and transferring between areas. However, most of the residents in this type of nursing home require only limited care assistance. It is important to note that Medicare does not pay for assisted living services and the majority of those living in RCFEs pay for them with private funds.
Choosing a Nursing Facility
The type of nursing facility that is required depends on the specific situation. Those who require intermediate care after leaving a hospital usually require the increased care provided at a skilled nursing facility. Because these are often temporary requirements, patients may need to move to an RCEF at some point. Once the person is no longer in need of increased nursing care they usually must return to the residential care facility for the elderly. Before choosing a facility you may review a list of the various options available to you. Research these various facilities thoroughly and visit them before you choose.
Prevention of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are more than 1,200 long-term care facilities in California. Unfortunately, there are some reports of abuse or neglect from time to time. Nursing home abuse or neglect consists of any negligent behavior by a caregiver or other person at a nursing home. The most common types of negligent acts are falls, pressure ulcers, bruises, malnutrition, and broken bones. Those who are most at risk are those who are unable to report the problem or those who suffer from dementia. If your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect it must be reported. Additionally, your relative may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, money for pain and suffering, and other damages caused by the negligent behavior. Contact the experienced attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP to discuss your case.