Ten Nursing Home Terms Every Family Should Know



Transitioning a loved one into a nursing home can be a daunting process, filled with unfamiliar terminology and complex decisions. To aid families in navigating this journey, Washington Care Center, located in Seattle, WA, has compiled a list of ten crucial nursing home terms that are essential to understand. Whether you’re just starting to explore long-term care options or are in the midst of making decisions, having a grasp of these terms will empower you to advocate for your loved one effectively and make informed choices about their care.

1. Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF): A Skilled Nursing Facility is a residential care setting that provides around-the-clock medical care and assistance with daily activities for individuals who require specialized care due to illness, injury, or age-related conditions.

2. Long-Term Care (LTC): Long-term care encompasses a range of services designed to meet the medical, personal, and social needs of individuals who require ongoing assistance with activities of daily living over an extended period.

3. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): Activities of Daily Living refer to routine tasks that individuals typically perform independently, such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and mobility. Assistance with ADLs may be required for residents in nursing homes.

4. Medicare: Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for individuals aged 65 and older, covering certain skilled nursing facility services for eligible beneficiaries.

5. Medicaid: Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals and families, including coverage for long-term care services for eligible beneficiaries.

6. Resident Rights: Residents of nursing homes have specific rights and protections under federal and state laws, including the right to dignity, privacy, autonomy, and quality care.

7. Advance Directive: An Advance Directive is a legal document that allows individuals to specify their preferences for medical treatment in the event they become unable to communicate their wishes.

8. Care Plan: A Care Plan is a personalized document outlining the specific care and services to be provided to a nursing home resident based on their individual needs and preferences.

9. Ombudsman: A Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate for residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, providing assistance, advocacy, and resolution of concerns.

10. Respite Care: Respite Care offers short-term, temporary relief for primary caregivers by providing professional care and support to individuals who require assistance with daily living activities.

In conclusion, understanding these ten nursing home terms is crucial for families embarking on the journey of selecting long-term care for a loved one. By familiarizing themselves with these terms, families can navigate the process more effectively, advocate for their loved one’s needs, and ensure they receive the highest quality of care and support in their new living environment.

Washington Care Center has been serving the Seattle community since 1959 with Trusted People and Trusted Care. We understand a comfortable and nurturing environment is important to you. We also understand choosing a skilled nursing facility is an important and sometimes difficult decision. The term “nursing home,” might make you apprehensive, but we’re not a traditional nursing home. We provide a wide range of skilled nursing care and rehab to people of all ages. Whether you need short-term rehab or long-term care, we will design a plan to fit you and your loved ones. We have the ability to serve 165 residents needing 24-hour licensed medical and rehabilitative care.

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