Nursing Care

When the initial treatment phase for an illness or surgery is over, most of us love getting back to familiar surroundings where we can rest and recover as quickly as possible.

Extended care is often necessary though—even after a patient has returned home. Providing loved ones with that much-needed additional attention can become a real challenge for family and friends.

Life Care at Home can take on those extra responsibilities for you. If you or a family member is recuperating at home from an accident or illness, we’ll be happy to provide a variety of customized home health care services, including:

  • skilled nursing care
  • therapy
  • experienced sitters
  • extended live-in arrangements
  • other assisted living services

Other private services include:

  • light housekeeping
  • running errands
  • shopping

Once a physician or other health care professional has determined that at home assisted living is appropriate, our agencies will partner with you to ensure your special someone is taken care of as long as you need us.

Today’s medical technology is doing wonders for managing everyday health issues. However, that new technology doesn’t always eliminate your loved one’s need for additional help, and a more appropriate level of care and attention is necessary.

Life Care’s nursing centers offer more than nursing home care. Our health care services are designed to bring healing to your loved one and peace of mind to you. We offer skilled nursing, home-like environments, rehabilitation therapy, around-the-clock medical supervision and help with activities of daily living. We know that when your attention is focused on managing difficult health issues, extra care from trained experts is invaluable.

And we don’t believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach for our residents. Each person is unique, and we believe your family member can benefit most from an individualized treatment plan created by medical professionals and with input from everyone—staff, your loved one and relatives—all working together. That way, we know exactly which services will be necessary, what the resident’s preferences are, and you’ll have an ongoing awareness of the type of care he or she is receiving.

We’re here for you, providing loving personalized attention in a nurturing environment dedicated to helping your loved ones thrive.

Services – Nursing Care – How to Choose

Making a placement decision is never easy, but the following guidelines can ensure that you select the best care environment for your loved one.

  • Discuss the type of services your loved one needs with his or her physician then obtain a list of area nursing centers offering those services from either the doctor, a social worker or a case manager. You can also get recommendations from friends, neighbors and your church.

  • Call the nursing centers on your list and speak with their directors of admissions to ask questions and schedule a tour. During your conversation, evaluate each director’s helpfulness and friendliness.
  • Conduct the Five Senses Test while taking a tour:

    • Look at the building. Are the grounds well-kept? Is the building well-maintained? Are the resident’s rooms tidy and bright?

    • Listen to the interactions between residents, families and staff members. Are they positive? Listen to the director of nursing and the administrator. Do they answer your questions honestly and candidly? Are they helpful?
    • Smell the aroma of the resident rooms, bathrooms and hallways. Do they have a pleasant, clean smell?
    • Taste the food. Is it hot, fresh and delicious? Would you serve it to your family?
    • Touch the furniture, the bedrails and the linens. Are the furniture and bedrails clean and free from grime? Are the bed linens clean and soft? Is there dust behind the beds and in the closets?
    • Talk to family members about the facility and about the care. If you do not know any of them personally, ask the director of admissions for names and numbers, or ask to attend a resident or family council meeting to understand more about the center and its quality of care.
  • Consult with ministers who visit the center on a regular basis.
  • Inquire about the facility’s state survey results. All facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs are surveyed annually to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.
  • Ask if the center participates in quality assurance programs such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, which evaluates the center’s quality of care and operations to determine compliance with national health and safety standards.

Services – Nursing Care – FAQs

At Life Care, our goal is to provide the information you need to make educated decisions about retirement communities, nursing homes, and elderly care in general. If you can’t find the information you need, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What does Medicare Cover?

For eligible residents needing skilled nursing care, Medicare Part A coverage will pay for a semi-private room, meals, nursing services, rehabilitation services, medications, and supplies and medical equipment for the first 20 days. From the 21st day to the 100th day, the resident will pay a daily co-insurance rate. After 100 days, Medicare no longer pays. If a resident has coverage under Medicare Part B and is eligible for the services provided, he or she will be responsible for 20 percent of the total charges for some of the following services: occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy along with medical supplies.

How is eligibility for Medicare Part A benefits determined?

  1. The resident must have a Medicare card that reads hospital insurance.
  2. The resident’s physician must certify that the resident needs skilled care on a continuing basis.
  3. A minimum of three consecutive days (not counting the day of discharge) must be spent in a hospital no longer than 30 days prior to entering the skilled nursing center.
  4. The need for skilled care must relate to the reason for hospitalization.

What is your staff to resident ratio?

Most states set requirements for staff-to-resident ratios; therefore, the numbers vary nationwide. At Life Care, however, it is our policy to exceed state staffing requirements. We base our staff-to-resident ratios on factors such as the acuity level of our residents, the layout of the building and the number of residents under our care.

Is cable television available?

Hookups are available for cable service in resident rooms.

Do you offer in-room telephones?

Phone hookups are also located in each room.

Are beauty/barber shop services provided?

Yes, most of our centers offer beauty/barber shop services for a minimal charge.

Can I bring furniture from home?

Yes, we encourage people to add personal touches to their room by bringing mementos from home. However, items must comply with the center’s fire and electrical codes.

Services – Nursing Care – Move-in Info

Residents can be admitted to a Life Care nursing center 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Although admission procedures do vary from center to center, the following is generally what can be expected prior to admission, what information you’ll need and how payments and refunds are handled:

Prior to Admission

  • Be sure the resident has a physician who will visit him or her at the facility as required. If the resident does not have a physician, the admissions director will assist the family in obtaining a physician who accepts patients at the center. The resident’s medical history and physical condition is needed from the physician before admission.
  • Contact the admissions department to schedule a time to complete the paperwork and review any special resident needs.
  • Ask about facility guidelines regarding bringing furniture, pictures or electrical appliances.

Information Needed for Admission Day

  • Resident’s full name.
  • Resident’s birth date and place of birth.
  • Name, address and telephone number for the following: the responsible party, the emergency contact person, the resident’s dentist, the resident’s pharmacy, and a mortuary.

  • Copies of advance directives, health care proxies, living wills or durable powers of attorney.
  • Resident’s Medicare card, Social Security card and insurance card(s). For our medical records we also need the name, address and telephone number of the attending physician and other physicians who care for the resident.
  • Mark the resident’s clothing with the resident’s first initial and last name. Each garment and personal item should be marked.
  • Provide a covered container if you wish to wash your family member’s laundry. Soiled laundry should be picked up at least three times a week.
  • Check the facility’s guidelines before bringing furniture, pictures or electrical items. The maintenance department must check all electrical appliances and televisions prior to use.

Payment/Refunds

  • A one-month advance payment is required at the time of admission for private-pay services.
  • A one-month advance payment is required at the time of transition, which occurs when a resident stays beyond the days covered by Medicare and then becomes a private-pay resident.
  • When a resident leaves a Life Care facility, any remaining balance will be returned after all final charges have been cleared through the business office.

Services – Nursing Care – Medicare & Payment

Medicare Part A and Part B benefits do apply to skilled nursing services for those who meet eligibility requirements and certain criteria by Medicare. For those who do not qualify, other payment options may include Medicaid, Managed care for HMO plans, private insurance, private funds or veteran’s benefits.

Medicare Coverage

For Medicare to cover the cost of skilled nursing services, the resident must:

  • Be at least 65 years old.
  • Have spent a minimum of three consecutive days (not counting the day of discharge) in a hospital no longer than 30 days prior to entering the skilled nursing center.
  • Have a physician’s order for therapy.
  • Need complex services that require the skills of a licensed therapist to improve in a reasonable, generally predictable amount of time.
  • Receive therapy services that relate to the reason for hospitalization and adhere to the treatment plan developed by the physician and therapist.

Part A
Medicare Part A coverage will pay for the following:

  • A semi-private room, meals, nursing services, rehabilitation services, medication, supplies, and medical equipment for the first 20 days.
  • From the 21st day to the 100th day, the resident will pay a daily co-payment rate.
  • After 100 days, Medicare no longer pays.

Part B
If a resident has enrolled in the Medicare Part B plan and is eligible for the services provided, he or she will be responsible for 20 percent of the total charges for the following outpatient services: occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy.

Medicaid Coverage
Medicaid, a health insurance for certain low-income people, may pay the cost of therapy services. However, coverage guidelines vary from state to state. To find out which services may be covered in your area, contact your state’s medical assistance office.

Managed Care or HMO Plan

Services that are covered under a managed care or HMO plan will depend on the individual’s policy. Check with your plan’s administrator.

Private Insurance
Private insurance may cover the cost of therapy services depending on the policy. Check with your insurance provider.

Private Funds

For those who are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid and are not covered by private insurance, expenses for rehabilitation services can be paid by the individual or his or her family.

Veteran’s Benefits
If a veteran requires skilled therapy services and there is no veteran’s administration nursing facility in the area, the individual may be discharged to a Life Care center. However, the center must have a contract with the veteran’s administration hospital. The services covered will be outlined in this contract.