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For SeniorsTransitioning into Skilled Nursing Care: Are you prepared?BY KELI CARTER, Marketing Director at The Laurels of Bedfordplications. Your husband has a heart at- tack while enjoying a family cook out. Unfortunately, these scenarios happen every day, unexpectedly, to families ev- erywhere. I think it is fair to say that most people don’t think about skilled nursing facilities until they face a medical crisis.The most common reason people seek help from a skilled nursing facili- ty is for short-term rehabilitation and/or long term care. The following informa- tion will include some helpful guidelines to consider before and during any health crisis occurs.• Sight – What do you see when you enter the facility? Is it clean or clut- tered?It happens when you least expect it! You receive a call that your moth- er has fallen and broke her hip. Your sister has a routine, scheduled surgery and develops com-When facing a medical crisis, it can be an overwhelming and emotional time. The realization that you must decide the “next step” typically adds more confu- sion and The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provide a five-star quali- ty rating system to help patients and fam- ilies compare and select a skilled nursing home. More importantly, take the time to go personally visit the facilities you are interested in. Keep in mind and remem- ber the 4 S’s...Investigate and spend time research- ing your local skilled nursing facilities. A good place to start is the nursing home compare website, https://www.medicare.• Smell – What do you smell? Does it smell fresh or foul?• Sound – What do you hear? Does it sound like chaos or calm?• Smiles – Are people happy? Does the staff smile and say, “Hi?” Remember the people, not the building, will be the ones providing the care. Feeling comfortable with your caretakers is important.We offer a variety of options for the most appropriate service, the most fitting farewell.Make sure you understand your insur- ance coverage. It is very important to un- derstand what your insurance will and will not cover so you can plan accordingly. If you have a medical or short-term rehabil- itation need, traditional Medicare will pay up to 100 days. You will be required to have a three-day inpatient stay at the hos- pital before any skilled nursing needs will be covered. The first 20 days will be cov- ered 100%. Days 21-100 will require you to pay a co-pay but many secondary insur- ances will cover the co-pay. If you have a traditional insurance, like Blue Cross, or a HMO plan there will be different require- ments that need to be met before going to a skilled nursing home. Because there are so many types of insurances with differ- ent coverage it is important to do your re- search before you need to use it.• Make your wishes known to your family• Prepayment is not necessary.• If you decide to prepay you will lock into certain costs.• •Your prepaid funds can be made irrevocable in order to become Medicaid eligible.Your existing life insurance may be able to be protected if Medicaid becomes necessary.269-962-5527 • • 105 Capital Ave., NE BATTLE CREEK | AUGUSTA | RICHLAND16 SCENE 4405 I CELEBRATING SENIORSWhatever the need may be, whether it’s getting stronger and receiving short- term rehabilitation for a broken hip or perhaps a loved one can no longer take care of themselves at home, it is im- portant to be an advocate for yourself or loved one and investigate your poten- tial future needs. Although it may seem like an overwhelming job, it is even more overwhelming if you are facing a medical crisis. Give yourself the gift of knowledge and peace of mind and start your research today!

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