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Carenotes

Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 7/07/10
Hello,

I'm in the process of looking for a nursing home for my mother and would like to know if there's a list of what to look for and questions to ask. Perhaps you know where I could find this information.

Thank you
S.F

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Name: DOUG
Location: NY
Date: 06/19/2013
Time: 06:15 AM

Comments

MY 95 YEAR OLD MOTHER RECENTLY FELL AND FRACTURED HER SHOULDER. SHE HAS BEEN LIVING WITH US AND MY WIFE HAS BEEN GETTING HER DRESSED AND WASHING HER. MY MOTHER WANTS TO GO HOME WHEN HER SHOULDER IS BETTER MY QUESTION IS, CAN SHE GET HELP AT HOME FOR REHAB AND ALSO TO HELP HER AROUND HER APARTMENT. SHE HAS MEDICARE NOW AND I AM IN THE PROCCESS TO GET HER MEDICAD. THANK YOU.


Name:
Location:
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 03:07 PM

Comments

Ask to look at the Physical Therapy Room...I found a thick layer of dust on the matted tables, various weight machines and exercise materials. Also how many staff to patient ratio...on what time of days. Ex 60-70 patient facility(day shift): 1 Charge nurse per facilty and 2 RN per facility 2 certified nurse's aides per 20 patient(one hall) Pt,OT,ST-monday wednesday Friday Check out Social Directors and Activities offerred Find out if facility provide transportation to doctor visits Ask if inservice training is offered to staff and what is protocal for emergency proceedures (Fire, tornado, etc.) Ask about security - visitor proceedures There is probably more but that is all I have time for, now, as I need to go care for my loved one.


Name: Kate Somsel-Longmore
Location: New Castle, Colorado
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 03:01 PM

Comments

Hi S.F.- Here is a list of questions to help you finding a nursing home that will fit your mother's needs and yours as well. You can also access your regional Area Agency on Aging for additional assistance. Make sure you and your mother visit the nursing home(s) you're interested in. Try to go without an appointment and just pay attention to the people living there. Here is the list-best of luck to you and your mother. Nursing Home Care - What to Ask? There are many things to consider when you are looking into finding the right nursing home (sometimes referred to as skilled nursing facility) for yourself or for someone you are caring for. The following are questions you can ask your doctor or health care provider about nursing homes. Staff and Management Questions 1. What is the LICENSED staff to patient ratio? 2. How many Registered Nurses (RN), how many Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) on each shift? Ask particularly about after 5pm, nights and weekends. 3. How many aides are available on each shift to help the residents? 4. Is there an activities director on staff? 5. How often do the doctors visit? 6. How easy is it for the staff to make contact with a doctor if there is a medical problem? 7. Is a doctor available by telephone 24 hours a day? 8. Who provides and supervises pharmaceutical services? 9. How long has the Director of Nursing (DON) been at the facility? 10. How many DONs have there been in the past 5 years? 11. How long have the various staff members been here? (The more stable the staff, with fewest changes, the better.) 12. What is the background of the company running it? Activities and Resident Involvement 13. Can I see the calendar of events planned for next month? 14. What are the visiting times? 15. Can the family help with personal care if they and the patient wish this? 16. Can the family bring treats and favorite foods if the patient requests this? 17. Can residents leave the nursing home for day trips or overnight stays with family and friends? 18. What are the restrictions on bringing furniture and other personal items from home? 19. Are there pets at the facility, or is there a pet visiting program? 20. Can residents care for plants in their room or garden? 21. Can residents participate in religious services? 22. Is there a resident council? 23. Is there an organization for family members? 24. What services do volunteers provide? Services Provided 25. Does the SNF have staff licensed to administer intra-venous therapy if needed? 26. Are special diets available for health needs, religious or ethnic preferences? 27. Will the nursing home hold a bed if the resident is admitted to hospital? If so, for how long? 28. Is there a rehabilitation program available, should this be needed? 29. What services are part of the rehabilitation program? Physical, occupational, speech and communications therapy? Financial and Payment Issues 30. Who will pay for these services and for how long? 31. If equipment such as a special bed is needed, who will pay? 32. How can I find out about quality of care in the nursing home? 33. How can I review complaints made about the nursing home? 34. What services are covered by the basic daily charge? 35. For what services are there extra charges?


Name:
Location:
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 12:06 PM

Comments

Hi S. F. My mother had Alzheimer's and we had to place her in a home. I was her caregiver and when it was all over, I wrote a book for caregivers about all the things I had learned. There is information in the book about how to choose a care home. The book is for sale on Amazon....look up under the title of Alzheimer's: Down the Long Road or by the author, Sandra Eastman. You can also check it out on my website which is www.tinyurl.com/3hzd4z I hope this helps and wish you only the best in placing your Mom. Sincerely, Sandra Eastman


Name:
Location:
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 11:42 AM

Comments

aplaceformom.com


Name: Anita Gleason
Location: Methuen, MA
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 10:27 AM

Comments

First, my prayers and thoughts will be with you during your search. Just remember, the facility wants to fill a bed, and they will give the PR answers to your questions. Visit during the day, and speak with other families. Youn will always get someone who has had a bad experience, but if the good outweighs the bad, you are on the right track. Also, if there is a good or bad report, question the comparison of care needed by your family and theirs. Some homes are wonderful babysitters, but not equipped to handle medical problems. Nurses on the floor are not the same as medical care. We have run in to all of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly. One home resented me beint there alot for my husband. He was legally blind and had been in a coma for serveral months. They would put the food on the tray and leave...while he was sleeping. Exactly what was supposed to trigger hime to eat? He could not see it, and didn;t remember to eat if they woke him. So, I was there to help. So, please really go for what you need, not what they are selling. Good luck and have a wonderful summer!


Name:
Location:
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 09:51 AM

Comments

Hi - I do not know your mother's needs but please consider calling your local area agency on aging for advise. They will refer you to the proper local agencies that can help you make the right decision for your mother. Take care, Edie in CT


Name:
Location: SF
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 09:05 AM

Comments

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) has excellent checklists to help you evaluate nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They can be found on their website at www.canhr.org under publications


Name: Evangeline
Location: Louisiana
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 08:18 AM

Comments

What you ask is not nearly as important as what you see. Visit them at all different times. How many staff do you see? How are the patients? Do you see patients doing differnt things - some will be bedbound, some may be in different rooms visiting, some may be participating in activities, etc. You did not say why you need a nursing home so I can't answer too specifically but ask about the ACTUAL staff to patient ratio and staff turnover. While each state has a rule or law about the ratio, many don't meet this requirement. There should be able (and willing) to give you the omsbudsman's information. Talk to families of patients. Ask them about patients who have no family. Have you investigated the availability of a home based program such as a medicaid waiver program? (this is the type work i do)


Name: Caregiver
Location: Ohio
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 08:04 AM

Comments

If your Mother is still able to... take her with you when you visit an Assisted Living / Nursing Facility- Are the Staff members friendly..? Do they Greet you upon Arrival ? Is there Odor, are the hallways clean and uncluttered with wheelchairs, laundry carts etc. Do they allow you to see all sections of the Nursing home, Dietary Kitchen area, Laundry and Housekeeping areas..? Do you have to use facility Doctor or can your Mother continue with her own Private Doctor...? Do they have Recreational Activities that your Mother likes or would like to try - Movie night, outings, Game time, Religious Activities, Crafts and Gardening Activities, Music Programs, a library or Lounge area to sit in, a Private Area where Families could get together for a Meal, ??? Make Arrangements for you and Your mother to eat a meal at the facility and to talk to the Dietitian about Special Diet or Food needs, likes and dislikes... Ask how her mail would be handled and delivered to her...? You can tour a Facility by contacting the Social worker/intake Staff to make arrangements. Are the rooms private or semi private..? Look at the Bathrooms in several of the rooms to see what they look like- many are connecting and are used by the Residents of 2 rooms....How much furniture can your Mother bring with her and personal items, like pictures for the walls, Family pictures, Favorite Rocking Chair and Lamps... How is her Laundry going to be done...? Most laundry in nursing homes are done in big loads all mixed together with other Residents laundry ( that is why all clothing, shoes etc is labeled with the Residents Name.) So they have to be washable- No silky nighties with lace, they won't look the same after they go through the wash... Don't feel like any question you ask would be silly or stupid... Write down questions that come to mind... Ask your Mother about things that she is concerned with...I worked in a Nursing Home for many years and if only the Family would have asked QUESTIONS FIRST BEFORE SIGNING THE DOCUMENTS THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH HAPPIER AND BETTER INFORMED FOR THE CARE THEIR MOTHER RECEIVED AND THEY WOULDN'T HAVE HAD SO MANY PROBLEMS...


Name: Geri Meyer
Location: Fort Myers Florida
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 07:42 AM

Comments

check "Medicare.gov" AND/OR "nursing homes evaluation".....you'll find a report of how many workers ratio there are to patients; how many bad points against the facility.....good luck.


Name: RA
Location: ID
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 06:35 AM

Comments

I do not have a list of what to look for, or questions to ask. But the best piece of advice I was given when looking for a nursing home was to just show up and ask for a tour. This way they are not expecting you and you get to see what the facility is like without anything being "put on". It gave me a good feeling about some, and a not so good feeling about others. I hope this information will be useful along with suggestions from others. Best of luck to you.


Name: Elvina
Location: Duvall, Washington
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 06:27 AM

Comments

I've used non-profit organization, A Place For Mom, that provides you a counselor to help determine what you are looking for, and then provide some references for the care you are looking for. You may want to contact them to see if they provide services for the state and area you are interested in.


Name: Bess
Location: South Carolina
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 06:15 AM

Comments

I asked a local therapist I knew for the 10 places he felt were the best in the area. There is the traditional things to look for cleanliness, etc... I also looked for a set rate for the month, some places charge for every little extra such as nurse visits, diapers etc... What won me over was as I was looking at about the 5th place, one of the patients interrupted the manager that was showing us around. He stopped and talked to her and then we continued. The cook came out from the kitchen with tears in her eyes, the manager asked her what was wrong. She was crying because one of the patients had passed away, it was her "extra bacon" lady. It made me realize one of the most important things to look for is How much they actually care for those who are under their care. My Mom got the best care and she was there almost 4 years. She felt loved. There was a very low turnover of staff and they had lots of activities. My Mom was in the dementia area and w never saw a huge decline because of all the interaction. I hated seeing places where our elderly were lined in a hallway slumped over in their wheelchairs. So make sure they care.


Name: TINA BOSTON
Location: Smith County Health Care Center
Date: 07/07/2010
Time: 06:12 AM

Comments

You can log onto www.medicare.gov and scroll down to Nursing Homes and it will answer alot of your questions. If I could be of any help contact me @ 615-735-0569 and ask for me; Tina Boston. Thank you and good-luck.


 







 

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