In retirement, it's possible that you'll someday need to stay in a short-term care facility. But how do you know when you need short-term care, and what type of facility is right for you? What happens when short-term care turns into long-term care?
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you weigh your options for short-term care.
When to Seek Short-Term Care
Unlike long-term care facilities, which provide care for patients on an ongoing basis, short-term care facilities are designed to provide care for a defined period of time, usually less than one year. Your stay could be a few days, a few weeks or several months.
You may need to stay in a short-term care facility if you're recovering from an injury or illness, or if you're completing an in-patient rehab program to regain mobility after a procedure like a hip or knee replacement.
Finding a Short-Term Care Facility
Different facilities offer different amenities. Be sure to weigh your options to find a solution that's convenient for you and that meets your needs. When you're looking for a short-term care facility, consider factors like the center's success rate, level of care, staff-to-patient ratio and cost.
Don't be afraid to ask questions about what your care will entail, and be sure to confirm insurance coverage before you decide on a facility. Your doctor can also be a good resource to help you connect with local short-term care facilities that would meet your needs.
When to Choose Long-Term Care
In certain situations, short-term care may not be sufficient. For instance, a brief stay in a short-term care facility can turn into more comprehensive, long-term care as a person's needs evolve.
Depending on your health care needs and mobility, long-term care may be a more appropriate solution than a stay in a short-term facility. Fortunately, long-term care comes in many forms, according to the National Institute on Aging. Options range from in-home help to residential facilities where patients live full-time, and if you have a long-term care insurance policy, some or all of your stay may be covered.
Many people require short-term care after a planned surgery or procedure, but sometimes people unexpectedly require care after an accident or illness. It's a good idea to understand your insurance coverage and the short-term care options in your area whether you're planning a stay at a facility or researching for the future.