Nightly News   |  March 04, 2013

With elder care, ‘know what you’re signing up for’

NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman explains the difference between various facilities that care for the elderly including independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> let's swing this conversation to our chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman . nancy, it's a matter of life and death . this just seemed to collide in matters of compassion and citizenship to those of us listening.

>> it did. and i think it also crossed into doctors and nurses and patients and families and the conversations. and frankly, the homework that a lot of us have to do when we start to look at these places. every state has different kinds of parameters. and there are different places to look for. for instance, independent living is meant for the aging population for people to live independently and have an issue of social community. assisted living is meant for those who immediate help, perhaps. bathing, brushing teeth, getting ready in the morning. and, of course, skilled nursing is almost a step down from the hospital. where people could have help with wound care, perhaps post stroke help. but i think the big question is, as you start to figure out where a parent or loved one belongs, do your homework. you really interview these people. find out who can do cpr. what are they capable of doing, and recognizing that not all states are the same. and brian, i have to say, we did hear from nurses over the last 24 hours reminding us that sometimes cpr and doing the overzealous is not necessarily the best thing.