Health Conditions Requiring Skilled Nursing Care

If your elderly loved one lives alone, you probably check up on him or her frequently. While most healthy senior citizens can live independently, certain health conditions may prevent others from doing so. If your loved one has any of the following health conditions, you may need to consider placement in a skilled nursing facility.

Decubitus Ulcers

A decubitus ulcer refers to skin breakdown caused by friction or poor circulation. Also known as bedsores, decubitus ulcers are characterized by stages ranging from stage 1 to stage 4. Stage 1 ulcers refer to simple redness of the affected area, while a stage 4 decubitus ulcer refers to an ulcer that has caused significant tissue damage including damage to the muscle and tendons. A stage 4 bedsore may become infected and may lead to bone deterioration if not treated as soon as possible.

If your elderly loved one has a deep bedsore on the coccyx area of the back or on the feet, visit the physician. He or she will evaluate the wound to determine the stage. If found to be a stage 4, your loved one may need to be admitted to a nursing facility for treatment, which may include intravenous antibiotic therapy, surgical debridement of the wound, vitamin therapy, and frequent dressing changes. 

Diseases Requiring Multiple Daily Injections

If a senior citizen has medical conditions such as diabetes, or is at high risk for stroke or blood clots, he or she may need multiple injections such as insulin and subcutaneous anticoagulant injections.

While your elderly loved one may have the ability to self-administer his or her injections, frequent monitoring of blood tests need to be implemented when these medications are taken. When a person is receiving multiple insulin injections on a daily basis or uses injections of anticoagulant medications known as blood thinners, the blood has to be monitored for alterations in serum glucose levels, platelet counts, and clotting factors. This type of monitoring cannot be performed at home, and because of this, the physician may recommend that the elderly individual be admitted to a long-term care nursing facility. 

If your loved one has stage 4 decubitus ulcers or has a medical condition that makes it necessary to take multiple daily injections, make an appointment with the physician to determine if nursing home placement would be a good option. Nursing home and assisted living placement in a skilled nursing facility can either be a temporary situation or a permanent ones, depending upon the person's health condition, cognitive ability, and mobility status.