Friday, September 22, 2023

Is Memory Care Considered Skilled Nursing

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What Services Do Memory Care Facilities Offer

What is Skilled Nursing Care?

Memory care facilities are similar to both assisted living and nursing home facilities. Caregivers at memory care facilities still help clients with personal care tasks such as bathing, eating, dressing, and using the bathroom and other activities of daily living such as enjoying social activities, going to appointments, going shopping, etc.

What is the Difference Between Memory Care vs. Nursing Homes?

Memory care facilities offer specialized care for people with diagnoses related to memory loss such as Alzheimers and dementia. Clients in these facilities will often have more structured activities throughout the day to help keep them on a routine and lessen their stress. The activities also focus more on cognitive stimulation. These specialized facilities can also help those with memory difficulties continue to communicate better than they may in other facilities.

Caregivers also tend to offer more supervision in memory care facilities. Because many people with memory-related diseases have a tendency to wander, memory care facilities can be safer in that they are usually locked, have doors and/or elevators with alarms, and outdoor recreation areas that may be locked and gated. Some even have their residents wear tracking bracelets that set off an alarm to alert staff when a patient strays too far from a specific area of the building.

Relying On Your Insurance Agent Or Broker

Your insurance broker or agent plays a critical role in helping you choose the right insurance and understand the details of your coverage. As with every profession, some insurance agents are better than others, so it becomes very important for people to properly vet their insurance representative.

Peter B. Codner, a representative with Primerica, a United States-based insurance and financial services company, suggests that people choose a representative who is willing to work with them step-by-step to ensure that their long-term financial needs are covered. According to Codner, there are red flags that may tell you your insurance agent doesnt have your best interests at heart. People should beware of an insurance agent who only seems concerned with getting the policy signed, he warns.

Although many people purchase a policy and then dont hear from their agent or broker again, Codner says that your agent should develop a long-standing relationship with you.

Your insurance agent should follow up with you throughout the life of your policy, Codner explains. Can you get a hold of them to ask questions? Are they educating you about your coverage and adequately answering questions about the details and fine print? Are they trying to sell you more than you need? Codner asks.

When it comes to choosing the right insurance policy, there are a number of factors that people should consider:

  • Daily benefit amounts should be as high as you can afford.
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    Residential Facilities Assisted Living And Nursing Homes

    At some point, support from family, friends, and local programs may not be enough. People who require help full-time might move to a residential facility that provides many or all of the long-term care services they need.

    Facility-based long-term care services include: board and care homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities.

    Some facilities have only housing and housekeeping, but many also provide personal care and medical services. Many facilities offer special programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

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    How To Transition Out Of Skilled Nursing Or A Nursing Home

    The federal Nursing Home Reform Law provides that a SNF must permit each resident to remain in the facility and must not transfer or discharge the resident from the facility unless:

    • The transfer or discharge is necessary to meet the resident’s welfare and the resident’s welfare cannot be met in the facility
    • The transfer or discharge is appropriate because the resident’s health has improved sufficiently so the resident no longer needs the services provided by the facility
    • The safety of individuals in the facility is endangered
    • The health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered
    • The resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay…for a stay at the facility or
    • The facility ceases to operate.

    The SNF must give the resident advance written notice of its intention to transfer or discharge the resident. The notice must explain the reason, advise the resident of the right to a state hearing to contest the transfer or discharge, and provide the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the State long-term care ombudsman. If the resident has resided in the facility for 30 or more days, the SNF must generally give the resident 30 days’ advance notice of the transfer or discharge. More information about discharges and patient rights can be found online on the Medicare Advocacy Website.

    What Qualifies A Potential Resident For Secured Memory Care In A Skilled Nursing Facility

    Monterey Rehabilitation Center, Skilled Nursing &  Memory Care

    Different facilities have different requirements, but a potential resident of Alley’s Cove must have a signed FL2 from his/her primary care doctor to give to the Admissions Coordinator. The FL2 must be dated within the last 30 days and must state that the patient needs skilled nursing care and a secured unit. The potential resident must have a dementia diagnosis, have had instances of wandering or exit seeking and be able to walk on their own . Several other factors are considered, but vary from resident to resident.

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    Cost Difference Between Memory Care And Nursing Care

    This summer, Frank Anania from Mesa, Arizona, reached out to A Place for Mom with what at first glance, seemed like a simple question. My wife is in memory care. Our insurance which pays $200.00 dollars per day for nursing care will only pay $100.00 per day for memory care. Memory care requires more daily care. What can I do? he asked.

    With no simple solution at hand, it turns out that Frank, like many other Americans, isnt able to rely on his insurance coverage when he needs it the most. Experts have been recommending additional insurance coverage like long term care policies to cover the financial gaps that many seniors face when it comes to paying for their care. But what happens when these policies dont fill the gap as they were intended to?

    Problems Navigating The Claims Process

    For some seniors, navigating the claims process is a serious hurdle. According to Dunn, there are a number of potential problems that seniors face when filing an insurance claim, including:

    • Not getting the right documentation
    • Not understanding the questions being asked by the insurance company
    • Not understanding the questions being asked by the person doing the medical assessment
    • Not understanding how to answer questions

    All these factors filter through to the decision makers, and often seniors inadvertently provide the wrong information which can compromise their claim. People should know in advance its not a simple process, Dunn warns. It involves assessments, plans of care, medical records and documentation, and doctors chiming in to better clarify a persons condition, especially regarding cognitive impairment.

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    How Does Memory Care Compare To Other Types Of Long

    Memory care is similar to assisted living in that its considered to be noninstitutional care, while nursing homes are institutional. While memory care programs are often co-located within assisted living facilities, there are some distinct differences in the environment, staffing and recreational programming offered within memory care units.

    This chart highlights the similarities and differences between residential memory care and other types of long-term care.

    Memory Care
    No usually includes lunch and snacks
    Skilled nursing care
    Assistance limited to self-administration of medications Assistance limited to self-administration of medications
    Anti-wandering systems/security features
    Specially designed environment for those with dementia Yes No, unless program is geared towards participants with memory loss
    State licensed and inspected
    Staffed by caregivers who specialize in memory care Yes No, except for memory care programs

    Skilled Nursing Care At Home

    Choosing the Best Senior Living Facility – Memory Care and Skilled Nursing

    As more seniors choose to age in place, home health agencies have responded by offering skilled services provided by licensed nurses or therapists in clients homes. When prescribed by a doctor, these skilled care services can be covered by Medicare, some private health insurance policies, the VA and long-term care insurance policies. Utilizing a home health care provider enables a senior to receive highly effective medical treatment while remaining as independent as possible in the comfort of their own home.

    Read:How to Pay for In-Home Care

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    How To Visit And Evaluate A Nursing Facility Or Skilled Nursing Provider

    It is important to take time to visit several facilities if possible and inquire about services and staff prior to your loved one receiving care there. Some things to consider:

  • Take a tour. Does the facility have adequate therapy equipment and social activities? Observe common areas, recreation and therapy equipment and other exercise devices – a sign of a good recovery program.
  • What is the reputation of the nursing staff? Turnover rate? Check the facility’s record with the board of public health or question the facility ombudsman.
  • Is the facility accredited? Medicare or Medicaid approved? Accreditation shows that the facility has taken extra steps to comply with The Joint Commission.
  • Where is the location? Is the facility close to family? Choose a facility that isn’t too far away from regular visitors or family.
  • Check reports & violations. See what issues the facility had in the past, if any.
  • If possible, ask to speak with current residents to see how they rate the care at the facility.
  • Navigating The Difference Between Memory Care And Skilled Nursing: Life Plan Communities

    A Life Plan Community, also known as a CCRC or continuing care retirement community, matches senior care services to where your loved one is in the continuum of health. Theyre a good option for older adults who want to avoid making multiple moves during different phases of the aging process. Because theres a wide range of services, amenities and activities in one location, skilled nursing and memory care residents have a greater sense of stability and can transition to higher levels of care if ever needed.

    At a Life Plan Community like Grace Ridge, we support families and their loved ones with careful evaluations and thoughtful care plans, taking the worry out of understanding the difference between memory care and skilled nursing. Ourfull continuum of health care includes independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and specialized memory care, so no matter what your loved one needs, our warm, welcoming community will feel like home. Theyll have the benefit of healthy, freshly prepared meals and access to amenities such as our new fitness room, heated pool, beauty salon and barbershop. Theyll enjoy senior living infused with Southern charm, in a location with stunning panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And theyll be supported and empowered to enjoy their very best quality of life.

    Learn how we can support your loved one needing memory care or skilled nursing by calling us today.

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    What Does Memory Care Provide

    Memory care communities provide specialized programming designed to minimize anxiety and agitation, which are emotions that are common in people with dementia or Alzheimers. At MacIntosh communities that offer memory care, residents are encouraged to participate in a variety of structured activities throughout the day.

    Staff at a memory care community are trained to understand the unique needs of residents experiencing memory loss. The community itself will be equipped with extra security measures designed to keep seniors safe. For example, its not uncommon for seniors with dementia to wander, so memory care communities have security measures in place to keep them from accidentally leaving the community.

    However, this does not mean that residents are locked inside the community. At MacIntosh, for example, memory care residents have access to a secure outside courtyard so they can enjoy the outdoors.



    Best For Range Of Services: Good Samaritan Society

    Skilled Memory Care

    Good Samaritan Society

    Why We Chose It: The Good Samaritan Society provides short- and long-term skilled nursing services in addition to outpatient and home-based services and caregiver support.

    • Offers higher and lower ranges of care in addition to strong short- and long-term skilled nursing services

    • Has a Caregiver Support department, which includes respite care for caregivers

    • Only in 24 states

    The chief goal for skilled nursing facilities is to help a person return to their home when they are able to. Having a facility that can provide continued services can prove valuable, as a family already has an established relationship with the providers and staff. For this reason, we chose the Good Samaritan Society as our best for range of services.

    In addition to offering short- and long-term care options for skilled nursing services, the organization also offers senior living for a higher level of care as well as lower-level care options, including outpatient therapy and home-based services. The Good Samaritan Society also has a Caregiver Support department, which includes adult respite care for caregivers. In terms of inpatient rehabilitation services, it offers physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Some of the conditions the company highlights for care include balance therapy for those who experience frequent falls and post-surgery recovery rehabilitation.

    The company operates facilities in 24 states.

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    What Should I Look For In A Memory Care Community

    Each family will have different priorities when it comes to selecting a memory care community, whether theyre looking for a certain staff-to-resident ratio or a specific music therapy program. Regardless, all families should focus on finding a community that is reliable, trustworthy, and skilled in caring for seniors with memory impairment. Below, we explain the key areas for families to focus on when considering a memory care community.

    Ultimately, only you will know if a community is the right fit for your loved one. But if youd like some assistance from an outside expert, contact a Family Advisor. Family Advisors are trained to provide free, personalized, one-on-one guidance to help caregivers and families find the best care solutions for their elderly loved ones. You can contact a Family Advisor by calling 973-1540.

    What Is The Cost Of Memory Care

    On average, memory care costs can run anywhere between $4,000 and $9,000 a month, according to a 2020 survey by Genworth, an insurance company that tracks the costs of long-term care. Costs vary state to state and are affected by the level of care provided.Memory Care is typically covered by private pay. Long term care insurance will supplement private pay.

    In some cases, you will find qualified memory care in a skilled nursing facility . This will afford the senior resident some government assistance, such as Medicare. Medicaid can cover a SNF if youre considered low income.

    Each state has their own licensing regulations. Therefore, the cost varies state by state for the memory care services provided and the government assistance available.

    Its important to note that a SNF is not a nursing home, even though they share a similar name. The name nursing home is not often used any longer, though you may hear it along with convalescent home in reference to SNFs.

    PRO TIP: Veterans Benefits are often available for assistance with care needs.

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    All About Memory Care Services

    In 2016 alone, the Alzheimer’s Association approximates that more than 15 million caretakers in America offered 18 – Search for: Is memory care more expensive than assisted living?. 2 billion hours of overdue care and assistance for liked ones with Alzheimer’s . At some point, there may come a time through no fault of your own when you are no longer able to provide your liked one with enough care by yourself .

    .) During the second phase of dementia, people experience very moderate cognitive decline and a slight degree of memory loss, but it is considered a normal effect of aging – Is memory care a good option?. Throughout this phase, you might notice that your loved one has trouble with names however remembers them later on, or that they misplace objects around the house but eventually keep in mind where they left them .

    In addition to increased lapse of memory, dementia may cause problem focusing and a reduced ability to work or hold a discussion. You might notice that your liked one has trouble discovering the best words or they get reversed more easily than they utilized to. This stage can last for 7 years or more, and it is not technically thought about dementia till the next phase, phase 4, in which amnesia and other aspects of cognitive decrease start to impair the person’s capability to execute everyday jobs.

    Memory Care Vs Assisted Living: Making A Decision

    Comparing assisted living and skilled nursing

    People with early dementia who live well independently or only need a bit of daily help may thrive in an assisted living community, while a dementia care community may be too restrictive. If your loved one struggles with daily functioning, needs support most of the time, or seems afraid and lonely living at home, its time to give them the gift of dementia care. No matter which option you choose, select a community with extensive experience supporting seniors. Ask many questions and ensure your loved one feels comfortable when you visit the community. For more information on senior living, check out our free guide: The Journey to Senior Living: A Step-by-Step Guide for Families.

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    What Kind Of Staffing And Certification Requirements Apply To Memory Care Facilities

    Memory care facilities are regulated at the state level, therefore, the staffing and certification requirements vary throughout the country.

    In general, most states require that any facility offering memory care services holds a state long-term care license. In order to fulfill licensing requirements, memory care communities must pass health and safety inspections and have a designated administrator who spends at least 40 hours on-site each week and is trained in long-term care.

    Many states have adult protection laws that mandate extensive background checks for anyone who provides direct care to vulnerable adults, including caregivers who work in memory care facilities. Other common staffing and certification requirements include:

    • First aid and CPR certification for all direct care staff
    • Staff who administer medications must either be licensed medical professionals, or work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse
    • Direct care staff must test negative for tuberculosis
    • Staff needs to complete a comprehensive orientation session that includes training specific to memory care prior to commencing direct care duties
    • Staff and administrators must complete ongoing annual training in supporting individuals who live with memory loss

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