Today, many hospitals struggle to provide cost-effective care. Poorly funded rural facilities in particular must utilize available beds as efficiently as possible simply to remain in business. These medical institutions sometimes face a challenging moral dilemma: can the hospital safely discharge a recovering senior to provide an additional bed? Or will the release result in a senior returning home without fully regaining all the skills required for independent living?
Geriatric patients often lack the vitality and resilience of other segments of the population. They tend to require a longer period of rehabilitation in order to recover fully from accidents, surgeries, or illnesses. Their families may lack the necessary resources to care safely for these patients on a full-time basis in the aftermath of a hospital discharge.
Filling an Important Need
Short term skilled nursing care facilities supply vital assistance to hospitals and patients. They furnish temporary care during a critically important period of time. By permitting elderly patients to regain strength and mobility, these facilities often help play an important role in preventing relapses.
Why does the availability of a skilled short-term senior care facility matter so much? In many cases, older individuals lack the ability to heal as quickly as younger ones. They may need extra time to recuperate after a physically exhausting and debilitating surgical procedure or an illness. Additionally, some seniors possess weakened immune systems. These vulnerable patients require especially attentive monitoring during the recovery period.
Indeed, aging patients sometimes run a higher risk of returning to an emergency room soon after a discharge. Depending upon the circumstances, sending these patients home to care for themselves prematurely may result in poor outcomes. For example, statistics reveal seniors as a group experience greater difficulty recovering from broken hips than younger people.
After sustaining a bad fall, an elderly person may run a high risk of falling again in the absence of effective rehabilitation and monitoring. Some elderly patients take medications that produce side effects that include lowering blood pressure. Others suffer from vision problems. For a variety of reasons, a discharging physician may prefer to transfer this type of at-risk patient to a skilled nursing care facility on a short-term basis. This decision may prove much safer than sending the senior home to resume an independent lifestyle while still recovering from an accident or a surgery.