How to Make a Care Choice

\"HowWhen it comes to your own health or the health of a close family member or loved one, making care choices can seem daunting. There are many treatment options available for patients at various stages of healing; sometimes these choices can be overwhelming. Continue reading for more information on how to make a care choice and the options available through Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey

Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH) admission criteria are very narrowly defined. The anticipated length of a patient’s stay must be over 25 days and have more than one serious illness. The admission criteria also states that their clinical needs cannot be met in a less restrictive setting such as a skilled-nursing facility or acute facility. The decision to admit someone into a LTACH is not based on emotional considerations but upon meeting the required admission criteria and ability to benefit from this level of care.

Possible competing care options are sub-acute or skilled nursing facilities and acute rehabilitation facilities. These two levels of care provide similar services but to varying degrees of intensity. The skilled nursing and sub-acute setting offers physical and occupational therapy along with other therapies as needed for the slower paced patient who may be older and not able to tolerate aggressive therapy. Acute rehabilitation facilities provide aggressive therapy geared toward the younger patient able to tolerate extended hours of rehabilitative therapy.

All three options provide therapy, but the focus of an LTACH is on complex clinical patient needs such as

  • Intravenous antibiotics for severe infections
  • Ventilator dependency and weaning
  • End-Stage Renal Disease and kidney dialysis
  • Cardiovascular events that require extended rehabilitation for recovery.

The LTACH setting is designed to help patients build strength and gain mobility over a longer period of time. Patients not able to make functional gains and achieve their goals are offered palliative care to help cope with their illness.

Palliative care focuses on the physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual needs of people who have the serious illnesses commonly found among patients in the LTACH setting. Palliative care relieves suffering, helps improve tolerance for treatment, eases transitions when curative treatment is no longer an option and improves the quality of life. It addresses the discomforts caused by symptoms of disease and side-effects of treatment.

Long Term Acute Care Hospitals serve a specific niche along the continuum of care. They offer very specific services addressing the needs of patients with serious long term acute illnesses. They recognize that a longer period of time is required for some patients to recover and return to wellness but they also acknowledge that this goal may not be possible for all patients. LTACH’s provide palliative care when warranted respecting all religious viewpoints on illness and end-of-life issues at Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey.

Examining how palliative care fits in with the Jewish faith is helpful when making care decisions. In Judaism human life has infinite value but it also recognizes life itself is finite. Palliative care is meant to comfort and soothe the patient and is valued in the Jewish community as an important aspect of healthcare. Jewish medical ethics are rooted in the Jewish tradition and define four core values related to secular medical ethics; autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence and justice. These four principles are all compatible with palliative medicine and end-of-life care as they are currently practiced. Pain and suffering must be treated aggressively restoring a state of calm, comfort and dignity to the patient.

At Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey care is delivered with a team approach achieving the highest functional level possible for each patient and respecting the dignity of each patient. Contact Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey by calling 732.942.3592.   We are conveniently located at 600 River Avenue in Lakewood, New Jersey and are here to meet your care needs.

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