What is Long Term Care?
“My desire is to make a difference in the lives of all the individuals who I care for and the different needs they have.”
“It’s very satisfying when you can ease a family’s fears of placing a loved one in long term care for the first time. We feel like part of their family”
“I knew I loved caring for the elderly when I became a CNA. This is where my heart is. I worked hard and was able to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a nurse.”
It’s not one size fits all.
Our oldest generation is as diverse as our youngest. Settings vary based on needs.
Skilled nursing care facilities are licensed healthcare facilities that offer round-the-clock nursing care and are inspected and regulated by state and federal agencies. Skilled nursing care involves trained professionals performing services that are needed due to temporary or permanent injury or illness. Staff also provide custodial or personal care that focuses on helping residents with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, eating, maneuvering in and out of bed and walking. Seniors who require a skilled nursing setting can no longer live safely in the community and need more help than their family or present caregiver can provide.
Short-stay rehabilitation programs provide therapy for individuals recovering from surgery, illness or an accident, helping them to achieve their maximum functional capacity and get back to their homes. Short-stay rehab patients are not necessarily frail or elderly. They may simply require physical, occupational, speech therapy or a skilled service following a hospital stay. Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) offer short-term rehabilitation services that may be covered by Medicare for up to 100 days. Dedicated, skilled therapists are part of an interdisciplinary team that includes physicians, nurses, social workers and nutritionists, who work with the patient and family members to develop an individualized plan of care focused on returning the person to their community at their optimal functional level.
Memory care is a distinct set of services that specifically address the needs of residents with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other types of memory problems. Alzheimer’s and dementia pose unique care challenges. In addition to providing assistance with activities of daily living, the staffs that work in memory care receive additional training to assist people with dementia or impaired cognition. Communities that provide memory care often have units solely for residents requiring this kind of care and incorporate design elements that research has shown to lower stress in individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Outdoor and indoor spaces are designed to be both secure and soothing.
Make more than a living. Make a difference.
Rewarding. Fulfillment. A sense of purpose.
By working in long term care, you will establish long term relationships and enrich your own life as well as others. And you will work in an environment with compassionate, like-minded people who share your desire to make a difference.
There are many occupations to pursue in senior care. Direct caregivers, primarily nurses, certified nurse aides, therapists, and others, are in high demand. Other professionals are also necessary to ensure the best care is provided, including those in administration, social services, dietary, activities planning and various other support services. All of these roles have the potential to be deeply rewarding, because they all impact resident care in some way.
With an aging population, there are currently many opportunities in long term care, whether you’re looking for an entry-level position or a path to professional advancement.