Content Updated: Jan 22, 2018
An intermediate care facility (ICF) is a type of healthcare facility designed to provide custodial care for individuals who are unable to care for themselves because of mental or physical infirmity.
ICFs are typically used by individuals who are disabled or non-acutely ill, but can provide a wide range of benefits for elderly patients as well. These care facilities provide less intensive care than what is offered at a hospital or skilled nursing facility, while giving patients an alternative to being in the hospital for extended amounts of time.
Who ICFs Work Best For
Seniors with chronic conditions who can’t live independently but do not need constant care can benefit from the services of an intermediate care facility. While ICFs were first established in the 1980s to help transition hospitalized elderly to their home within a few months, only half of the elderly discharged patients were able to return home and nearly 25% stayed in the intermediate care facility for over one year.
Intermediate care facilities provide supportive care and nursing supervision under medical direction twenty-four hours per day. The goal of these facilities is to enable patients to return to a home setting and regain or retain the functions of daily living if possible. The services an ICF can provide are of great benefit to elderly patients for a variety of reasons:
Intermediate care facilities help to provide greater independence to elderly patients, which in turn increases their quality of life. May seniors could use some additional assistance with daily tasks, but don’t require specialized medical attention on a daily basis.
Intermediate care facilities can help with a multitude of tasks including; getting dressed or undressed, bathing and showering, daily hygiene, using the restroom, moving around the facility, laundry and housekeeping assistance, transportation to and from activities and appointments, and reminders to take medications.
Because ICF residents have more control over the structure of their daily life, they also feel more confident and motivated to reach their therapy goals.
Intermediate care facilities can be less expensive than other types of care due to needing less administration and other resources to provide adequate service. This results in a decrease in operating expenses and, thus, the cost for the patient.
Elderly patients who do not require constant nursing care may find that an ICF is an affordable alternative to a nursing home. Studies show that patients in intermediate care facilities recover at the same rate as those who remain in the hospital. Because intermediate care is proven to be an effective alternative to an extended hospital stay, elderly patients can save money on costly hospital stays.
Intermediate care facilities provide focused service, taking away from less important administrative tasks and centering on services that the patients really need. Regulations for intermediate facilities means standardized care for patients. Family members can rest easy knowing their elderly loved ones are being well cared for in a safe environment while still maintaining a large part of their independence.
Intermediate care facilities can also remove the challenge of decision-making. The decision to move an elderly patient back into a home environment can be challenging to make. Since patient recovery can be very unpredictable, intermediate care facilities provide an opportunity for continued monitoring by a physician, who can help decide when the time is right.
About Connected Risk Solutions
At Connected Risk Solutions, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With three offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Burlington, Connecticut, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.