Has post acute care in a skilled nursing facility been recommended for you as an alternative to going right home from the hospital after discharge?
If so, you probably have some questions, such as: What, exactly, is post acute care? When and why do hospital medical teams and/or discharge planners recommend it? How can a skilled nursing facility help you once you have been discharged from the hospital? Here we’ll address these common questions.
What is Post Acute Care?
Post acute care is care provided to individuals recently discharged from an acute care hospital, generally after being treated for a serious illness, injury or medical event. It is typically recommended for people who may struggle to safely and effectively manage their care needs and daily activities on their own at home following a hospital stay.
A short term stay in a skilled nursing facility can give these people an opportunity to recover and rehabilitate before returning home, bridging the gap between acute care and self care, to help ensure a safer and more successful recovery.
5 Ways a Skilled Nursing Facility Helps
Post acute care via a skilled nursing center can offer a great deal of help and support in meeting the medical and physical needs you might have difficulty managing on your own immediately after hospital discharge. Here are 5 ways checking into a skilled nursing facility can help.
1. 24 Hour Medical Monitoring & Care
This can help ensure that any complications or changes in condition are caught and managed early, reducing their impact on your recovery.
2. Professional Medication Management
This can lead to better pain management, reduced stress and greater safety during recovery.
3. 24 Hour Nursing Care
This can offer safe and effective assistance with personal care, wound care and other needs, reducing risk of complications and injury as well as daily stress.
4. Daily Access to Rehabilitative Care
Including physical, occupational and speech therapy, it can help promote faster, more complete recovery and rehabilitation.
5. Nutritional Services
This can help ensure a healthy, well-balanced diet to promote optimal healing/recovery.
Why is Discharge to a Skilled Nursing Facility for Post Acute Care Recommended?
Typically, such recommendations are made because your medical care team feels that your care needs may be better met in an inpatient setting than at home. Perhaps there is a need for specialized care that cannot be easily provided via home-based or outpatient care, such as intensive rehabilitation, complex wound care, IV therapy or respiratory care, for example. Maybe your doctor feels that your medical condition isn’t yet stable enough for you to manage at home, requiring close supervision of your condition during recovery.
The bottom line is that a referral to a skilled nursing facility for post acute care is given when your healthcare team feels it is medically necessary. What that means for you is that following that advice is likely to be your best path towards the quickest, safest, and most complete recovery after you are discharged from the hospital.