Post Hospital Services

When choosing a nursing home, rehabilitation facility or other post-hospital services for yourself or a loved one, the different options can be confusing and overwhelming. Swedish Covenant Hospital has compiled several resources offering information, such as checklists, articles, information and results of recent surveys to help you select a facility. This content is provided to help you make an informed decision about the long-term care options available after you leave the hospital.

Nursing Home Compare
This site has detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country and is the official U.S. Government site for this type of information.

Illinois Department of Public Health

This information includes: how to select a nursing home, checklists, nursing home information and results from state surveys.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50 and over improve the quality of their lives. Provides checklists and tips on selecting assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

Catholic Charities
Intake: 312-655-7700
Provides pre-screening services for persons seeking admission to skilled nursing facilities.

The Medicare Project
A consumer's directory to Medicare help, resources, and information from government, education and other non-commercial web links, brochures and publications.

Topics include:

  • How Medicare Works
  • Eligibility and Enrollment
  • Part A and Part B
  • Glossary
  • Prescription Drug (Part D) Plans
  • Medigap
  • Medicare Advantage
  • Medicare Supplement Programs
  • Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Medicare Medical Savings Accounts
  • Ombudsman; Medicare Fraud
  • Medicare and Mental Health
  • Medicare and Cancer
  • Medicare for People with Diabetes or Renal Disease
  • Contacting Medicare
  • Medicare Nursing Homes
  • Medicare News
Caregiver Support: The Chicago Department Of Senior Services
312-744-4016 or 312-744-6777 (TTY) for the hearing impaired.
This comprehensive program gives caregivers access to reliable information, professional resources and a full range of public and private support services, most of which are available right in the neighborhood.


Myth: A nursing facility is like a hospital.
Reality: A nursing facility is not a hospital. Many people enter a nursing facility after a hospital stay and tend to think of the nursing facility as an extension of hospital care. However, a nursing facility is much different. Medical, rehabilitative and nursing care is provided as needed by health care professionals and dedicated caregivers. Yet at the same time, nursing facilities try to be homes — where people can feel comfortable, find familiar faces, and continue life's activities appropriate to their age and capabilities. 

Myth: Nursing facility patients never leave.
Reality: A primary goal of the nursing facility staff is to rehabilitate patients so that they can return home or to an assisted living setting. Those who cannot return home permanently may be able to make short visits, health permitting. In most states, Medicaid-certified nursing facilities will hold beds for patients while they make a short visit home. 

Myth: If I enter a nursing home, I'll never go back to my home.
Reality: One of the primary goals of nursing home care is rehabilitation — helping residents to live as independently as possible. In fact, about 30 percent of all residents nationwide are discharged to home or home-like living arrangements. Those who cannot return permanently to their homes make visits there, health permitting. The healthcare professionals at St. Joseph's Hill and Price Memorial will talk truthfully with residents and their families about the possibility of going home.

Myth: I will not be able to make my own decisions.
Reality: Nursing facility staffs strive to maximize independence and honor patient preferences. It is a patient's legal right to make choices about activities, schedules, health care and other aspects of their life. Yet it is important to recognize that the facility must ensure an environment where people can live together safely and harmoniously. Whatever an individual's physical condition, the over-riding objective for the facility is respecting an individual's rights and wishes and providing a supportive environment and quality care.

Myth: Nursing facilities have unpleasant odors.
Reality: Today's nursing facilities should not have persistent odors. In fact, with the effective cleaning products available, a properly sanitized nursing facility should smell pleasant. However, because some patients are incontinent, an occasional odor may be noticeable, especially in the morning, though it should not linger.

Myth: Husbands and wives must live apart in a nursing facility.
Reality: This is simply not true. Many couples enter nursing facilities together and may share a room if they so choose. Some couples have even met at the nursing facility and decided to marry. Staff members respect the privacy of couples living in nursing facilities.
When selecting a nursing home, it is important to thoroughly analyze a variety of factors (staff, safety, food, activities, etc.) to help you compare facilities and make the right choice for yourself.

The links below are downloadable documents (PDFs) that are helpful resources to print and use while visiting nursing homes.

Medicare's Nursing Home Comparisons Checklist>>
AARP's Nursing Home Evaluation Checklist>>
Verified Patient Reviews Available

Swedish Covenant Medical Group provider profiles have patient ratings and comments to help you make informed decisions about the providers you choose.

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