I’ve never heard anyone say, “I want to go to a nursing home.” The words “nursing home” bring anxiety and fear to the old old, and many family members make that promise to a parent or a spouse – “I’ll never put you in a nursing home.” Long term care is a subject everyone avoids until there is no other option. Perhaps if we talked about nursing homes more and learned about all the special services they provide, we would not have such dread of actually having to enter one for care. Most nursing homes today are welcoming environments for excellent care provided by staffs that truly care about those they serve. In Northwest Arkansas we have seen tremendous improvement and change in the last decade. It’s time to explore them again –
What if I need long term care, will Medicare pay for that?
NO. MEDICARE never pays for ‘long term care’. Medicare pays for the period of care after a hospitalization if rehabilitation or recuperative care are needed, for up to 100 days. On day 101 Medicare will not be paying for the care.
Then how do we pay for long term care?
Long term care is paid for by private pay, long term care insurance, and by Medicaid. Medicaid becomes the pay source for individuals who are low income and who do not have financial resources over specific sums. In Arkansas, over 80% of all long term residents of skilled care facilities are Medicaid recipients. Call your Department of Human Services in your county for details on qualifying for Medicaid. ( Benton County: 479-273-9011; Washington County 479-521-1270) You can also call your county Area Agency on Aging offices and learn details about all Medicaid services for the ageing. Call Area Agency on Aging in Benton Co. at 479-273-9424; Washington County AAA is 479-442-5194. EVERY skilled care facility listed below is a Medicaid facility accepting private pay, long term care insurance and Medicaid.
What is rehabilitation/recuperative care in a skilled care facility?
Most skilled care facilities today have a team of staff who specialize in rehabilitation therapy. This team is comprized of a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist. Whether recovering from a fracture, stroke, an amputation or debilitation, this team will create a plan of care for strengthening and a return to independent living. Other specialized staff may include:
Specialized nursing for wound care
Specialized nursing for ostomy care
Dietary education for diabetes
Trained/certified activity director
What does long term care cost?
Today skilled care facilities are charging from around $150 per day to up to $285 per day, depending on the availability of a private room/suite or double occupancy. Most are charging $160 to $180 per day.
How should I choose a skilled care facility?
I have people tell me all the time they walk into a nursing home and if it does not smell bad they assume the care is good, if it smells bad they leave. This is NOT the best way to choose a nursing home! Here are some suggestions if you are thinking of a skilled care facility for either rehabilitation or for long term care:
- Visit the facility more than once. Visit during a morning, during an evening meal time, on a weekend, etc. Visiting a facility one time is not enough to make a decision about the care environment. If you experience a foul smell during one visit, don’t make your decision based on that alone. Patients become ill, occasionally a facility will have an outbreak of a flu – there are many reasons you might have had one unpleasant sensory experience. When visiting the facility, please do not enter residents rooms. Talk to staff, talk to family members visiting, but remember to honor the privacy of residents in their rooms.
- Go to http://medicare.gov and read “Choosing a Nursing Home”. This is an excellent 60+ page book on nursing homes.
- Talk to your physician about skilled care facilities and ask for their recommendation.
- Take into consideration the convenience for family members to visit, but make your decision based on the facility that you determine will best care for your relative. The most important factor is the care provided to the patient. Choosing a care facility in your neighborhood might allow easy access for visiting, but that facility might not be the best place for your family member to be cared for 24 hours a day.
- If you are considering a care facility for a younger adult, visit and talk to the administrator and staff about available activities, opportunities to socialize with other younger residents, and explore the care environment thoroughly. Some care facilities are more accomodating to younger adults than others.
- If the admission is short term for rehabilitation (100 days or less) learn about staff who will assist in discharge planning. Is there a licensed social worker on staff? You will need an experienced and knowledgeable social worker/case manager to assist you in planning for the discharge to return home with all resources you need (home health for skilled nursing or therapy, durable medical equipment and/or oxygen, hospice services).
- Ask staff if a Family Council exists to allow family members to meet for support and education.
- Do not decide on a facility because you have a friend who knows someone who works at that facility. Do not decide on a facility because it is new and has a beautiful lobby. Do not decide on a facility because your neighbor works there. Make visits, talk to the Administrator as well as the Marketing Director, ask about the availability of specialists (the therapy team, a resident dietician, a degreed social worker for case management and supportive services), check Medicare.gov, talk to the medical community to get their opinions – do your homework before you choose a skilled care facility.
Skilled Care Facilities in Northwest Arkansas
** Indicates a secure dementia care unit at this facility.
Ashley Health & Rehabilitation located at 2600 N. 22nd St., Rogers, Ar. 72756 PHONE: 479-899-6778
** Bentonville Manor Nursing Center located at 224 S. Main St., Bentonville, AR 72712 PHONE: 479-273-3373
** Bradford House located at 1202 South East 30th St., Bentonville, AR 72712 PHONE: 479-586-9707
** Concordia Nursing & Rehab located at 7 Professional Drive, Bella Vista, AR 72715 PHONE: 479-586-9707
** Highlands Therapy & Living Center located at 1513 S. Dixieland Road, Rogers, AR 72758 PHONE: 479-636-5841
Highlands Health Care located at 670 Rogers Road, Bella Vista, AR. PHONE: 479-876-1847
Innisfree Nursing & Rehab located at 301 S. 24th St., Rogers, AR 72758 PHONE: 479-636-5545
** Jamestown Nursing & Rehab located at 2001 Hampton Place, Rogers, AR 72758 PHONE: 479-986-9945
New Hope Health & Rehabilitation Center located at 1149 West New Hope Road, Rogers, AR 72756 PHONE: 479-636-6290
Siloam Springs Health & Rehab located at 811 West Elgin, Siloam Springs, AR. PHONE: 479-524-3128
Brighton Ridge located at 235 Huntsville Road, Eureka Springs, AR PHONE: 479-253-7038
Meadowview HealthCare located at 825 N. Gaskill St., Huntsville, AR. PHONE: 479-738-2021
** Fayetteville Health & Rehabilitation located at 3100 Old Missouri Road, Fayetteville, AR PHONE: 479-521-4353
Katherine’s Place at Wedington located at 4405 West Persimmon St., Fayetteville, AR PHONE: 479-444-6108
Maples at Har-Ber Meadows (The) located at 6456 Lynch’s Prairie Cove, Springdale, AR PHONE: 479-361-4669
** MediHome of Prairie Grove located at 621 South Mock St., Prairie Grove, AR PHONE: 479-846-2169
** North Hills Life Care and Rehabilitation located at 27 E. Appleby, Fayetteville, AR 72703 PHONE: 479-444-9000
Shiloh Health & Rehab located at 1092 Stultz, Springdale, AR 72762 PHONE: 479-750-3800
** Springdale Health & Rehabilitation located at 103 N. Gutensohn, Springdale, AR 72762 PHONE: 479-756-0330
Veteran’s Home located at 1125 N. College, Fayetteville, AR 72703 PHONE: 479-444-7001
Walnut Grove Nursing & Rehabilitation Center located at 1393 E. Don Tyson Parkway, Springdale, AR PHONE: 479-751-2390
** Westwood Health & Rehabilitation located at 802 S. West End Street, Springdale, AR 72764 PHONE: 479-756-1600
** Windcrest Nursing Center located at 2455 Lowell Road, Springdale, AR 72764 PHONE: 479-756-9000
Golden Living Center located at 1000 Patterson Street in Anderson, MO. PHONE: 417-845-3351
Red Rose Health and Rehabilitation Center located at 812 Old Exeter Road, Cassville, MO 65625 PHONE: 417-847-2184
** Quail Ridge Living Center located at State Line Road and Jefferson Street in West Siloam Springs, OK PHONE: 918-422-5138