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How to Evaluate a Skilled Nursing Community

   A skilled nursing nurse at The Esquiline helping a resident lift weights.

As we age, we all need a little extra help, and some of us need more or less at different stages of our journey. If you have started evaluating alternatives for a loved one’s care, it’s important to do your research. And the sooner you make this decision - perhaps even before you or a loved one requires such care - the better. 

What is Skilled Nursing Care?

Skilled nursing communities are staffed 24/7 by expert professionals in elder care. This is the best option for older adults who require round-the-clock care and monitoring. Residents should receive close oversight and care from licensed staff. They may also provide restorative therapy and additional medical management services. 

Does your loved one need skilled nursing care? This type of care is best for those who: 

  • Require 24/7 care from skilled nursing professionals due to chronic, progressive conditions such as MS or Parkinson’s
  • Need advanced medication management, such as IV lines or injections 
  • Can no longer feed themselves or move around independently 
  • Are in need of long-term rehabilitation and therapy in a closely monitored environment

What to Look for in a Skilled Nursing Community

When narrowing your search for a community, look for those that offer the care your loved one needs now - and care levels that they may need in the future. Visit virtually - many skilled nursing communities offer online tours - and again in person, if possible. Many communities may even be able to connect you with residents who can discuss their experiences. 

Comfort and Safety

It can be tempting to make a decision based solely on how “fancy” a community appears, but after care needs, comfort and safety should be at the top of your evaluation list.  A high  team-member-to-resident ratio is also desirable, as this will result in more personal attention and care for your loved one.  

When you visit, ask about the community’s Medicare and Medicaid certification. Pay attention to interactions between residents and staff. Do they seem warm and welcoming?

Find a place where your loved one feels safe and cared for properly. 

Size and Location

Choose a nursing care community that is near friends and family, so that they may visit easily and continue to provide a strong social network. How often will others visit if the community is an hour away versus a quick 15-minute drive? Also ensure there are amenities available nearby or on campus that are important to your loved one’s care. 

Is your loved one an extrovert who enjoys meeting many new people, or more interested in keeping to themselves? Are they easily confused by too many new faces? Also consider the grounds; is there outdoor space that your loved one could enjoy, as their health allows? 

Learn More About Skilled Nursing Care

Explore some of our other articles and learn how to support your loved one virtually, or read about the differences between assisted living and skilled nursing care. 

At The Esquiline, we offer several levels of care on our campus, including assisted living and skilled nursing care at our Dammert Care Center. Request your personalized consultation.