Active and Engaged: Keeping Quality of Life in Skilled Nursing

What will my quality of life really be like when I move into a nursing home or skilled nursing facility? If you are looking at care options for yourself or a loved one, this is always one of the most important questions people ask.

Joyful, safe, comfortable skilled nursing care does exist, and we can help you find the best option! You can have peace of mind about your mom, dad, or loved one’s needs being met and that they are happy once they reach this stage in their life. Pennybyrn has been a trusted model for skilled nursing care with providers across the country, so let us show you how to find an engaging, enjoyable new home.

Quality of Life: Physical Needs

Physical needs are often the first thing people think about when shopping for skilled nursing care. Many times the need to find skilled nursing in the first place is due to an accident, illness, or surgery. Issues like physical rehabilitation and help with medications or specialized treatments are all things skilled nursing can provide.

Offering outstanding physical quality of life for residents also involves things like:

  • Creating warm, inviting spaces to visit with family and friends
  • Ensuring that nutritious meals are also enjoyable
  • Providing spaces and equipment for fun, safe, exercise
  • Coordinating activities that residents are excited about

Part of what we have discovered is that physical quality of life depends on much more than amenities or even programming. When residents get to make their own choices about their surroundings or the activities available, active, engaged participation comes a lot more naturally!

Quality of Life: Social Needs

The personal relationships you or your loved one will form with other residents, the staff, and their medical caregivers have a profound impact on their quality of life. It does not matter if you are introverted or extroverted—sometimes we all need a little encouragement to get out there and participate in social situations! That’s why friendships and staff that know the residents can make such a difference.

When you are looking at skilled nursing options, look for a low turnover rate with the staff, because that is a good indicator that the employees are more invested in their work. It probably means their employer is more invested in them, as well. A stable staffing situation allows nurses, housekeepers, and meal providers the opportunity to know residents and what they need or want.

Quality of Life Key Factor #3: Emotional Needs

It is incredible what a difference being heard and known makes to people! We see this all the time as we are welcoming new residents at Pennybyrn. Everyone has questions, concerns, and sometimes fears. A high standard for our emotional quality of life has a lot to do with the quality of our relationships.

Skilled nursing providers work to foster emotional health and wellbeing by:

  • Giving residents as much freedom of choice and opportunities to share what they want in day to day decisions as possible
  • Getting to know residents and cultivating meaningful connections with them
  • Maintaining excellent communication among all caregivers so any problems or emotional needs are easier to anticipate or respond to

Quality of Life: Spiritual Needs

Our spirits need care just like our bodies and minds do, and at Pennybyrn, we know how important a vibrant spiritual life is for overall health and wellness with our residents. Prayer and spiritual guidance or support can provide such peace and reassurance on the tough days and help us hold onto the things that give our lives their most profound meaning.

Most skilled nursing programs do not offer robust spiritual care or enrichment, but it is something we highly value at Pennybyrn. We believe it is essential to provide residents with spiritual care and ways to engage the life of faith through:

  • Visits from local clergy
  • Interdenominational services and special events
  • Reflection days
  • Spiritual retreats
  • Daily Mass

The Healthcare Households Model at Pennybyrn

Many years ago, Pennybyrn made a commitment and investment in a new model for skilled nursing. Professionals from across the country continue to visit and tour our Healthcare Households because of the remarkable difference they make in the quality of life and care for our residents. We continue to be leaders and innovators in our region for this model of care.

The things that make the difference in our skilled nursing include:

  • Choice: We make our residents’ choices the central concern in our Healthcare Households. Everything from when they wake up, to when and what they eat, to how they want to spend their day determine the care and attention they receive.
  • Home Comfort: Visitors immediately see the difference in at Pennybyrn because our Healthcare Households are smaller individual houses in a village. Each house is a unique, comfortable, welcoming home to no more than 17-23 residents.
  • Dedicated Staff: We employ outstanding skilled nursing staff and have an extremely low turnover rate. Each Healthcare Household has a dedicated dining staff and kitchen, nurses, and housekeepers, so real and sincere relationships flourish.
  • Responsiveness: Our staff is trained to listen for needs and desires, and we have empowered each of them to take immediate action to serve our residents. Along with strong communication with family members, we are quick to anticipate and respond to what our residents need.

Maybe you can tell from just these highlights that the way Pennybyrn approaches skilled nursing is personal, loving, and genuine. What we continue to see is that relationships and compassionate attentiveness make all the difference in the quality of life of our residents. They know we will take their requests and interests seriously, and that goes a long way toward encouraging each of them to be more active and engaged.

Come Visit

Our visitors tell us over and over again that once they have experienced Pennybyrn for themselves, they can truly feel the difference here. If you have questions about skilled nursing, we hope you will come and tour our Healthcare Households. Contact us today.