5 Reasons Why Skilled Nursing is Essential for Seniors
If you have an aging relative who needs assistance with daily living, skilled nursing care is the best option. Skilled nursing facilities offer 24/7 medical care with nurses and CNAs on staff to monitor senior health and provide the help they need. They also have certified dieticians who work with seniors to create a meal plan tailored to their dietary needs and goals. Plus, they host life enrichment activities based on the seven dimensions of wellness.
Whether you need to recover from a fall, surgery, illness or injury, skilled nursing care is essential. Licensed nurses and other health professionals, including physical, occupational, and speech therapists, provide this specialized medical care. Skilled nursing services include physical, occupational, and speech therapy, wound care, intravenous (IV) therapy, injections and monitoring of vital signs and medical equipment. They can also be provided at a senior’s private home as part of home health services.
Medication management ensures seniors take their medication on schedule and at the correct dose. This includes keeping a list of medications, vitamins and over-the-counter medicines and disposing expired or no longer needed drugs. Managing multiple medications can be complicated, especially if stored in different places. It can also be challenging to keep track of the right dosage or time to take each pill. Many seniors don’t take their medicines as prescribed, resulting in dangerous and potentially life-threatening side effects. That’s why it’s essential to have a comprehensive medication list, which can be created by your doctor or healthcare provider and kept on your health record.
As seniors get older, their muscles and bones begin to weaken. This can make it difficult to do daily activities like going upstairs or getting out of bed independently. Physical therapy can help rehabilitate a senior’s body and improve mobility by focusing on movement techniques that reduce pain, swelling and stiffness. It can also improve balance and coordination. PTs work with patients to develop a treatment plan that addresses each patient’s unique needs. It can include exercise, stretching and weight lifting. Besides reducing pain, physical therapy is a safe and effective way to manage chronic conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. It can also help seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent injuries.
In addition to being essential for mental health, social interaction plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Seniors more socially active have higher immunity levels to common illnesses, which can prolong their life expectancy. Even small interactions can bolster seniors’ moods and sense of well-being. Studies show that consistent socialization reduces depression and anxiety. Besides reducing depression, socialization can boost seniors’ cognitive health. Keeping up conversations with friends helps build connections in the brain that strengthen memory skills and protect the brain from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Skilled nursing care is the type of medical care licensed nurses and other healthcare professionals can only provide. A home health agency can deliver this care, assisted living community with an on-staff nurse, or a skilled nursing facility that offers 24-hour nursing care. This type of care can be essential to help a senior recover after a hospital stay or surgery or may be required on an ongoing basis for those with chronic medical needs.