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Nursing Homes Perk Up To Meet Challenges

Nursing Homes Perk Up To Meet Challenges

Did you think that nursing homes are just a place where the old go to die? Well, look again! Nursing homes all over the country are going for an extreme makeover, to change peoples’ outlook abut them.

People in charge of nursing homes say that opinions are fast changing, because they are sending an increasing number of people home after a full recovery!

The Keller Oaks Center situated at North Richland Hills reported that a stunning 81% of the patients admitted in the current year were sent home after a recovery. The patients recovered after therapies in, physical and occupational fields. A number of patients had had knee or hip replacement surgeries. There were also a number of stroke patients. The therapists at this centre worked at the patients for around three hours in a day, so that they could get back at least some of their independence. A lot of planning goes into a patient the day he arrives, so that he can recover faster.

Keeler’s Oaks is just an indicator of the fundamental shift in approach that has undergone this industry. There is more emphasis now on providing rehabilitation in the short term. This helps the seniors recover faster. This shift is more evident from the fact that nursing homes are now reinventing themselves as ‘nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.’

Christian Care Center also remodeled its nursing homes recently so that rehabilitation services can be accommodated. They have completed four renovations and expansions in the last seven years. The patients on short term treatment at Mesquite have nearly tripled after 2001. A new treatment facility, called Bioness, has been added to the nursing home. This therapeutic device runs mild electric stimulation along the limbs of patients who have had a stroke. This device has been reported to be successful in improving circulation among patients.

Another nursing home situated at Dallas uses an innovative pool that provides aquatic therapy to people who are recovering from knee and hip surgeries. This is done with the help of hydraulic chairs that lower them on to the pool. The buoyancy shifts the weight off the joints, so that exercise becomes easier.

The basic reason behind these changes is, of course, economic. Private insurers and Medicare both prefer less expensive options when it comes to post operative care. Nursing homes are the preferred facility, simply because they provide rehabilitative services at a much lesser cost. A short stay at a nursing home is even more relevant for people who are revering from a surgery but do not have any serious medical condition.

Moreover, since Medicare pays nearly three times more if patients receive rehabilitative services compared to what Medicaid pays for long term care services, nursing homes are sprucing themselves up to receive higher reimbursements.

Another development has been the improvement of rehab facilities at communities which are predominantly senior dominated. These have been done so that residents do not have to go outside the campus to secure quality rehabilitative care.

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