What Qualifies a Patient for Skilled Nursing Care

Does Your Loved One Qualify for Skilled Nursing Care?

When you’re looking for care services on behalf of a loved one, you may wonder how a senior living community could benefit them. If your loved one has chronic health issues or is recovering from surgery or illness, then skilled nursing may be able to provide them with the care they need. As one of the levels of care in some senior living communities, skilled nursing is specialized short-term or long-term care.

Take a look at what qualifies a patient for skilled nursing care and if this care option could help your loved one.

What Is Skilled Nursing Care?

Skilled nursing care encompasses specialized medical care provided by licensed healthcare professionals in a clinical setting.

It is designed to address complex healthcare needs that may arise due to illness, injury, or age-related conditions. This type of care can be divided into both long-term and short-term categories.

Both long-term and short-term skilled nursing care play crucial roles in the healthcare continuum. They provide essential support to individuals with varying medical needs, ensuring they receive the specialized attention required for their specific circumstances, whether on a long-term basis or during a period of recovery and rehabilitation.

Short-Term Care (Rehabilitation)

Short-term skilled nursing care, commonly referred to as rehabilitation, is focused on helping patients recover and regain independence after a specific medical event or procedure.

If your loved one needs rehabilitation following surgery (such as a joint replacement), stroke, a heart attack, or other acute medical conditions, then skilled nursing can help them recover.
After your loved one has regained their strength and health, they can return home or transition to a less intensive level of care once their specific goals are met.

Long-Term Care

Long-term skilled nursing care is geared towards individuals with chronic or progressive conditions that require ongoing, 24/7 medical attention and assistance. The goal is to provide your loved one with a safe and supportive environment if they are unable to fully care for themselves at home.

If your loved one has advanced stages of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, or those recovering from severe injuries or surgeries, their skilled nursing team will be trained to provide them with treatment.

Young Asian woman, nurse, caregiver, carer of nursing home talking with senior Asian woman feeling happy at home

What Qualifies a Patient for Skilled Nursing Care?

Your loved one will need to meet certain criteria to qualify for skilled nursing care. These qualifiers help ensure that skilled nursing care is allocated to individuals who genuinely require the specialized expertise and medical attention offered by skilled healthcare professionals.

It helps guarantee that resources are directed towards those who will benefit the most from this level of care. Qualifications include:

1. Medical Necessity

Your loved one must have a medical condition or circumstance that necessitates skilled nursing care provided by licensed healthcare professionals.

This includes conditions that require specialized medical interventions, such as wound care, IV therapy, physical therapy, or complex medication management.

2. Prescription or Referral From a Physician

A licensed physician must prescribe or refer your loved one for skilled nursing care. This formal authorization is based on a thorough assessment of your loved one’s medical needs and determines the level of care required.

3. Limited Ability for Self-Care or Safety Concerns

Your loved one’s condition limits their ability to perform certain activities of daily living (ADLs) independently, such as bathing, dressing, or managing complex medical treatments.

Additionally, safety concerns in your loved one’s home environment may necessitate a higher level of care provided in a clinical setting.

Senior woman, doctor and helping in weightlifting for physical exercise or activity at the hospital. Happy nurse, therapist or physician assisting elderly lady in workout or training at the clinic

Skilled Nursing Services

Skilled nursing services cover a broad spectrum of medical needs and a variety of medical professionals to meet these needs.

Licensed healthcare professionals, including registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other skilled healthcare providers, administer skilled nursing care.
Your loved one may receive the following:

1. Physical Therapy

This type of therapy involves rehabilitation exercises and interventions to improve mobility and strength.

2. Occupational Therapy

Your loved one may receive care that helps them regain and improve activities of daily living (ADL) skills.

3. Speech Therapy

Speech therapy will include an evaluation and treatment of speech, language, and swallowing disorders.

4. Wound Care

If your loved one was injured or is recovering from surgery, they can receive wound care that involves dressing changes for complex or non-healing wounds.

5. Medication Management

Skilled nursing services include the administration of intravenous (IV) medications or injections and the management of complex medication regimens.

Your loved one’s care team will develop a personalized care plan that addresses each of your loved one’s needs to ensure they receive care that provides the highest quality of life possible.

Find Comprehensive Skilled Nursing Care at Sagewood

The Acacia Health Center at Sagewood offers long-term skilled nursing of the highest caliber.

Acacia has achieved a deficiency-free survey from the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Long-Term Care Licensing. This esteemed recognition, achieved by fewer than one in ten facilities nationwide, allows Acacia to maintain its CMS 5-star rating. Acacia has also received an overall 5/5 rating from U.S. News & World Report, with both its short-term rehabilitation and long-term care receiving High Performing ratings.

It’s a testament to our unwavering commitment to delivering top-tier, person-centered care. Our dedicated and exemplary staff consistently provide care with professionalism and dignity to all of our valued residents.

When your loved one is at Sagewood, you can trust that they will be in good hands every step of their wellness journey.

Experience Acacia Health Center at Sagewood in Phoenix, AZ—an ideal space for healing and joy. Residents savor restaurant-style dining and a range of tailored activities. Most suites are private, and we even offer family suites. Enjoy outdoor areas for relaxation, reflection, and socializing with loved ones.

Contact us at 480.573.8099 to learn about securing a place for your loved one.