Nursing homes offer 24 hour nursing care. It’s important to ask if nursing care is provided by Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, or Medication Technicians as each has a different level of education and scope of practice. Nurses provide clinical assessments of residents and report changes to the resident’s physician. Additionally, they may provide direct healthcare services such as IV management, PEG management, wound care, and medication management.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, toileting, assistance with ambulation, and assistance with eating. Some nursing homes may has Certified Feeding Assistants. Nursing homes sometimes have restorative nursing programs. These programs help residents to maintain their highest level of independence and prevent physical decline. Restorative activities may include walking, active or passive range of motion, splint/brace application, ambulation, or transfer training.
Many homes offer rehabilitation by qualified Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathology Therapists, and Respiratory Therapists. These therapists work to improve the resident’s physical abilities to their highest level of function. They may work on ambulation, transferring, toileting, swallowing, or cognitive skills.
The activities staff provide resident programs to meet resident needs, and may be overseen by a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. The activities department should offer a variety of activities to meet the needs of the community, as well as personal visits for residents who benefit from them.
Some nursing homes have an onsite physician, while others have physicians who come in only as needed. Additional services that you may find may be a consulting Podiatrist, Dentist, Physiatrist (Doctor of Physical Therapy), and Psychiatrist. It’s important to ask if these services can be provided onsite or not.