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Skilled Nursing and Extended Care

Gwinnett Extended Care Center bridges the gap between levels of care for patients who are well enough to leave the hospital but not yet able to return home. We provide both sub-acute, short-stay services and intermediate, extended care.

Frequently asked questions:

What is extended care?
Whether it’s called a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility or a nursing home, these are all facilities that provide extended care for individuals who do not require the acute care provided in a hospital but who need more care than can be given at home.

Extended care centers offer short- and long-term care for individuals who need rehabilitation services or who have serious or persistent health issues that are too complicated to be cared for at home. They are licensed, inspected and regulated by a state’s Department of Health Services.

What does an extended care center provide?
An extended care center is often referred to as a nursing home. Although this label can have negative connotations, the level of care is an important part of senior and disabled housing options. At Gwinnett Extended Care Center, we provide what is called custodial care, including getting in and out of bed, and providing assistance with feeding, bathing and dressing. A licensed physician supervises each resident’s care, and nurses are on site 24/7.

A lifestyle or rehabilitation plan is custom-designed for each of our residents and may include:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech-language therapy
  • Nutritional support
  • Wound care
  • Respiratory care
  • Therapeutic activity program

Who would use sub-acute, short-stay services?
After an illness or surgery, patients sometimes need more rehabilitation and help with personal care to strengthen the skills they need to go home, such as learning to walk after a hip replacement or recovering motor skills after a stroke.

When should I or a loved one consider an extended care center?
Whether you are recovering from a sudden accident or illness or coping with a worsening progressive disease, considering an extended care center is not an easy decision. Here are some questions to ask when considering an extended care center:

  • Have you been assessed recently? If this decision is the next step after a hospitalization, this probably has already been done. However, if this move would be from home or another facility, a formal assessment by a medical team can help clarify what housing options are optimal.
  • Can your needs be met safely in other housing? Sometimes the risk of falls, lack of mobility or medical needs may no longer be able to be met at home or in another facility.
  • Can your primary caregiver meet your needs? It’s not possible for one person to be awake and responsive 24/7. Sometimes other family members, a day program, home care services and respite care can help. However, there may come a point when your needs become too great and extended care is the best way to fill those needs.
  • Is the need for extended care temporary or permanent? Sometimes recovery from an accident or surgery may necessitate a short-term stay in an extended care facility before returning home or to other housing arrangements.

How do I choose an extended care center?
Consider the location. In general, the more convenient the center’s location, the easier it is for family and friends to visit.

Consider your medical needs. Different extended care centers have expertise in different areas. How experienced is the center in handling your condition and rehabilitation needs?

Educate yourself. Ask your physician or specialist for recommendations. Ask others about their first-hand experiences with extended care centers. Check Medicare.gov to see the extended care center’s ratings.

When I visit an extended care center, what are some important questions to ask?
When visiting the extended care centers you’re considering, here are some things to look for and ask about:

  • What is the staffing level on weekdays, weekends and evenings?
  • Do they have time to speak with you, or are they rushed?
  • How would they handle your health condition? Emergencies or accidents?
  • Does the staff interact warmly with the current residents? Do the residents appear happy and engaged?
  • Does the facility appear clean? Are there any odd smells?
  • What is the food service like? What kind of help is available with meals?
  • What quality of life activities are available?

Other Resources:
Medicare’s Overview of Nursing Homes

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