If you have to make decisions on nursing homes, here is some information to help you.

Nursing homes are for people who are sick, injured, need to get better after surgery or have chronic care needs or disabilities that require on-going nursing care, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The care provided by nursing homes today has changed dramatically over the last decade or so largely because of revisions in Medicare regulations. Nursing homes now offer many services that were once provided only in hospitals.

nursing guide 2020

Medicare generally doesn’t cover any type of long-term care, whether in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or in one’s own home.

However, Medicare provides coverage for short-term stays in skilled nursing facilities, which are very often nursing homes, for specialized nursing care and rehabilitation after spending time in a hospital.

Nursing homes provide therapy -- physical, occupational, speech, respiratory -- pharmacy services, equipment rentals and other special services.

The monthly median cost for a private nursing home room in Tennessee in 2019 was $7,300, according to Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care Survey.

Here are some guidelines to help you in selecting a nursing home:

1. Compare the quality of the nursing homes you’re considering.

2. Visit the nursing homes you’re interested in or have someone visit for you.

3. Choose the nursing home that meets your needs.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services suggest you learn about nursing homes by talking with people you trust, including your doctor and visit Medicare.gov to compare nursing home quality.

There are many types of rehabilitation, but some common therapies are:

1. Physical therapy, a type of treatment a patient might need when health problems make it difficult to move around and do everyday tasks. Physical therapy helps improve, or restore, physical function and fitness level. The goal of physical therapy is to make daily tasks and activities easier. For example, the therapy might help with walking, going up stairs or getting in and out of bed. Physical therapy also can help with recovery after some surgeries. A physician might suggest physical therapy for injuries or long-term health problems.

2. Occupational therapy helps patients regain function in everyday activities such as cooking, reading, grooming, household care and work. The therapy, for example, helps people recovering from injury regain skills and helps older people who have physical and cognitive changes.

Other forms of therapy include:

1. Speech and swallowing

2. Balance

3. Respiratory

4. Neuropsychology

Rehabilitation programs can reverse many disabling conditions or can help patients cope with a disability that cannot be reversed. Rehabilitation addresses physical, psychological and environmental needs. The programs can be tailored to an individual’s needs and can include more than one type of therapy.

Under Medicare rules, to qualify for care in a skilled nursing facility your doctor must certify that you need daily skilled care such as intravenous injections or physical therapy.

Medicare usually pays for up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility.

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