Clint Hall is Director of Government Relations at NHC Healthcare. Before assuming his current role, Clint was an Administrator at NHC centers in Tennessee for more than 10 years. His longtime interaction with families in the senior care centers has given him special insights into the concerns of families as they make decisions about the right kind of care for their family member.

How do seniors get admitted to a skilled nursing center?

Seniors are often discharged after a three-night hospital stay to a center that provides the appropriate level of care recommended by the physician. Sometimes a physician may refer from the home setting.

Are families prepared for the need for senior care?

Some families are and some aren’t. Sometimes it is a shock to see someone has changed their level of need and families can be in a period of adjustment. Other times, it is a relief for families who have been through a long period of decline with a family member.

How are individuals grouped in the healthcare center setting?

Typically patients are grouped by their special healthcare needs such as rehabilitation, respiratory conditions, or dementia. We try to match medical complexity with the skilled medical care they need.

Do patients feel isolated in the healthcare setting?

We hear families coming in with that concern. But actually, the social interaction that they experience is tremendous. It rekindles the things they used to enjoy.  Everyone is invited to be part of the activities and they can choose to participate or not.

Do patients come for short-term care or long-term?

Some of our patients can stay as little as five days or a few weeks to get ready to get back to their regular lifestyle. And we are also able to offer continuing care services as well.

What is the variety of care available for seniors?

There is skilled nursing where the highest level of medical care is offered, with RNs available all the time. With assisted living, there is a more moderate level of care needed which is primarily offered by LPNs. And we have independent living apartments that offer meals and activities but are actually more like apartment living.

What are some things that families can do to prepare for senior care needs later in life?

Families need to begin to have conversations about the future and they need to make sure they have a trusted power of attorney and to prepare a will. There are also resources and websites that will help inform families about paying for long-term care.

What have you learned about yourself working in senior care?

Life is about relationships. You always say you can’t take it with you. But you can take those meaningful relationships with you. That’s what the last ten years have been for me.