Personal Decision Guide | Tutera Senior Living & Health Care

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Where will you require living or
health care services?

Whether you’re faced with a decision regarding where to receive specialized care, or you’re in the process of identifying the next place you call “home,” plenty of questions are probably running through your head.

To aide in your process, we’ve complied several questions and answers we commonly hear from people just like you. Click on the question below to reveal its answer. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to use the form below to ask us directly.

Decision Guide Toggle What exactly is an Assisted Living community?

Assisted Living communities are designed to nurture the independent spirit while assisting with the physical activities of daily living. Services provided include bathing, grooming, dressing and a wellness program. Some states also allow Assisted Living to offer medication assistance and/or wellness reminders.

Decision Guide Toggle What exactly is Skilled Nursing?

A Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitative Center provides 24-hour nurse supervision, meals, activities, wellness programming, and health management support to post-surgery and post-hospital residents. In addition, Skilled Nursing offers long term oversight for individuals who require 24-hour oversight and care management. Nursing staff members develop personalized care plans for each resident and work with them daily to ensure exceptional outcomes.

Decision Guide Toggle What's the difference between Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living?

A Skilled Nursing Facility provides skilled nursing and rehabilitative care such as physical, occupational and speech therapies for the rehabilitation of recovering persons. Residents who are best suited for Skilled Nursing require 24-hour oversight by a licensed nurse.

Assisted Living is designed for senior adults who value their independent lifestyle, but may need some additional assistance in daily activities such as dressing, bathing or medication management.

Decision Guide Toggle How do Assisted Living communities differ from other levels of care?

Assisted Living communities differ from Skilled Nursing in that they don’t offer complex medical services. Assisted Living communities differ from Home Health as they provide health care coordination by licensed nursing staff, social opportunities such as outings, art class and fitness programs. Home Health is provided only in the patient’s home. Seniors who prefer being independent, but need to be relieved from the burden of maintaining their home, which includes preparing meals, laundry, and housekeeping are good candidates for Independent Living.

Decision Guide Toggle Who is best suited for an Assisted Living community?

Each person is unique, and a good indicator that Assisted Living might be the right choice is a slight decline in health or in performing one or more tasks of activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation, or remembering to take medications.

Decision Guide Toggle How are Assisted Living communities licensed?

Assisted Living is regulated by each individual state. As a result, every state has their own policies that define what care and services are required for an Assisted Living community to meet their specific standards.

Decision Guide Toggle What types of supplemental services do many Assisted Living communities offer?

Supplemental services offered typically include: three meals per day, housekeeping, laundry service, personal care assistance (bathing, toileting, and dressing), as well as access to health care and medical services, on-site social and spiritual activities, recreation and exercise facilities, wellness programs, transportation arrangements, and 24-hour security.

Community amenities can vary but common amenities include wellness/fitness room, salon, spa room, mail center, and transportation. Social programming is a vital piece to the Assisted Living experience. Activities may include outings to baseball games and concerts, in-house art classes, bingo, and happy hour.

Decision Guide Toggle What are the average accommodation sizes of Assisted Living residences?

The national average for a private one-bedroom apartment in an Assisted Living community is a little over $3,000 per month ($36,000 annually). Rental rates vary depending on the room size and location within a given community. At times, costs can be offset by programs such as VA Aid and Attendance and home-based and community services. Typically private insurance policies do not cover Assisted Living, however we encourage you to check with your specific carrier for details.

Decision Guide Toggle What might Assisted Living typically cost?

The national average for a private one-bedroom apartment in an Assisted Living community is a little over $3,000 per month ($36,000 annually). Rental rates vary depending on the room size and location within a given community. At times, costs can be offset by programs such as VA Aid and Attendance and home-based and community services. Typically private insurance policies do not cover Assisted Living. We encourage you to check with your specific carrier for details.

Decision Guide Toggle How important is it to find out about an Assisted Living community’s philosophy of care?

The philosophy of care plays a vital role in the daily quality of life for the resident. A resident’s independence and freedom of choice should be the cornerstone to any Assisted Living philosophy. Feel free to interview the staff regarding policies specific to the community in order to obtain a better understanding their philosophy of care.

Decision Guide Toggle In a Skilled Nursing facility, what's the difference between short-term and long-term care?

Short-term care refers to a facility providing Skilled Nursing /or rehabilitative care such as physical, occupational and speech therapies. At times, short-term Skilled Nursing can also be referred to as “post-acute” care, as residents are often referred directly for rehabilitation services from the acute care hospital. The approach with skilled nursing is to guide the patient through their recovery, allowing them to return to a lesser level of care. Long-term care refers to daily monitoring of medical needs from 24-hour licensed nursing staff as well as providing assistance with activities of daily living.

Decision Guide Toggle When is it time to consider Skilled Nursing as an option?

Each person’s journey is unique, as is every family. However, a good indicator to consider Skilled Nursing as an option is a recent decline in health or a recent hospitalization. If these indicators are present, discuss options with your physician. A personalized assessment will be completed by the Skilled Nursing/post-acute care facility of your choice prior to admission to ensure all needs can be met. Please feel free to call us today to schedule your personalized assessment today.

Decision Guide Toggle What can I bring to a Skilled Nursing/post-acute care facility?

Most facilities provide furnished suites with room amenities not unlike your favorite hotel. The room typically includes furniture, electric bed, linens, television, and telephone service. For short term residents, our suggestion is to pack a suitcase with toiletries and clothes for one week at a time. We do encourage our guests to bring family pictures and other personal mementos for recovery inspiration and returning to independence.

Decision Guide Toggle What safety measures are in place at a Skilled Nursing facility?

Individuals with chronic health problems choose a Skilled Nursing facility for their post-hospital and post-surgery recovery for various reasons, one of which is safety. With 24-hour nursing staff and certified nursing assistants available to respond in case of a fall, medication reaction or other health issue, a Skilled Nursing facility offers peace of mind to you, as well as your family.

Our facilities offer an in-room nurse call system, as well as programs designed for frequent monitoring of our residents’ health needs. Exit door security, and specifically designed medical equipment are available to ensure the ongoing safety of our residents.

Decision Guide Toggle What if my physician does not choose to follow me from the hospital to your Skilled Nursing facility?

Our facilities maintain strong relationships with not only the local hospital staff but with local physicians in the area. We will work with you and your family’s preferences to choose a physician who is right for your specific needs.

Decision Guide Toggle How often will a doctor visit me at the Skilled Nursing facility?

A doctor sees a resident as often as is medically necessary. Medicare and insurance companies may also make recommendations on how often a resident should be seen, but visits are determined by individual resident needs.

Decision Guide Toggle How much therapy would I receive at your Skilled Nursing facility?

You would receive as much therapy as is medically necessary. The opinions of the therapy staff, as well as any recommendations from Medicare and the insurance carrier, are considered when a physician designs and orders a resident's therapy program.

Decision Guide Toggle When will my therapy begin once admitted to the Skilled Nursing facility?

Each individual is assessed within 24 hours of admission to determine their individual needs and treatment typically begins shortly thereafter.

Decision Guide Toggle How much does Skilled Nursing cost?

Skilled Nursing offers the most variety in cost and payment options of all the senior living options. The national average for a semi-private room is a little over $7,000 per month ($84,000 annually). For those paying personally for long-term care, the cost may be covered by a resident’s applicable insurance or specific long-term care policy. In many of our locations, we also accept VA benefits and Medicaid. As payment for services is an individual process, please speak with one of our financial advisors located in each of our facilities.

For a Skilled Nursing or therapy stay, a short-term guest may be eligible for Medicare, private pay and private insurance. We accept most major insurance and are willing to negotiate on your behalf with those carriers currently not contracted. Again, contact us today to speak with a financial advisor to discuss financial coverage and payment options.

Decision Guide Toggle What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicare is a federally funded government program that covers a specific duration of skilled services including physical, occupational and speech therapies, typically for short-term stays. Medicaid is a state program to help offset the cost of nursing home care for individuals who meet eligibility, and is considered a long-term option for individuals who may need financial assistance.

Decision Guide Toggle How does Medicare work?

A skilled care stay is often needed after a surgery or hospitalization due to illness or injury. Medicare provides coverage for skilled care on a short-term basis when the following criteria are met:

• A senior is currently receiving Medicare Part A (Hospital insurance) benefits and is therefore 65 years or older or has been formally diagnosed with renal failure.
• A hospital stay of three or more consecutive days (three midnights) within the past 30 days.
• A physician has determined that skilled care and/or rehabilitation is medically necessary due to a current health condition.
• The skilled services required are provided in a facility that has been certified by Medicare.

If all of these conditions are met, Medicare will contribute to the nursing home cost required on a short-term basis (up to 100 days). Specifically, Medicare will provide 100% coverage for Skilled Nursing costs for the first 20 days of a nursing home stay. From day 21 through day 100 of the benefit period, the individual is responsible for paying 20% of the total cost while they continue to meet Medicare requirements.

Decision Guide Toggle How does my insurance work with Medicare to cover my health care cost?

Most Medicare supplement insurance will cover the co-pay up to day 100 of skilled services, providing the individual continues to meet Medicare requirements. Prior to admission, all insurance is verified by our facility financial advisor to give the family peace of mind that services will be covered.

Decision Guide Toggle Will I be notified prior to benefits exhausting?

Yes. When your coverage under Medicare Skilled Nursing is soon to end, the facility must give you a written notice titled, "Skilled Nursing Facility Advance Beneficiary Notice of Non-Coverage." The form explains why your care is no longer covered. You or your legal representative will be asked to sign the form to acknowledge your receipt.

Decision Guide Toggle Will room service be available to me if I don’t want to eat in the dining room?

Dining in the resident suite is an available option. Please notify your care team of your request and your meal will be delivered to you as requested, unless contraindicated by your physician of plan of care.

Decision Guide Toggle What activities will be available for me as an individual?

At the time of admission, we spend time to get to know you and complete an interest survey. We will suggest wellness programming such as healthy eating cooking classes to compliment your short-term therapy. If you are at our facility as a resident, we offer a large variety of individual and group activities including games, outings, art and craft classes, spiritual activities, among others.

Decision Guide Toggle When can my family and friends come to visit with me?

Visitation with family and friends is always encouraged. Should the resident be short-term care, the visitor should check with the nurse to avoid conflict with the resident’s therapy schedule.

Decision Guide Toggle Are pets allowed?

In most communities, pets are allowed with current vaccinations. Please check with your preferred community for their specific requirements for allowing pets.

Decision Guide Toggle What exactly is a Memory Care community?

Memory Care communities are specially designed to serve residents with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. Services and amenities related to this type of care may also be offered in assisted living or skilled nursing care settings. Those services and amenities designed specifically for memory care may include self-contained neighborhoods, secured units or buildings, comprehensive supervision and security, medication assistance, rehabilitation programs and daily activities designed to keep minds active.

supervision and security

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