Planning Ahead

If you are starting to have difficulty with certain essential tasks, such as managing your finances, or physical activities like bathing or driving, it is time to have an honest talk with your doctor or another health care professional about your situation. They can put you in touch with a social worker who specializes in helping older people (sometimes called a geriatric case manager). This person will help you come up with a suitable long-range plan and locate the services you need now and/or will need in the future. The services of a social worker or geriatric case manager can be especially useful if your family doesn’t live near you or you can’t depend on them to help you during this sometimes confusing time.

  • Learn about the various services for seniors in your community and the types of care available. Ask around: Your doctor, a social worker, staff at a community health clinic, or any health care workers you see regularly can all have good ideas and suggestions about whom to contact. Another starting point would be to call a local or state social services office and ask to speak to someone who can provide a list of services you might need, such as meal or companion programs, transportation services, day centers, or facilities for more specialized care.
  • If possible, your family should be consulted and involved in setting up a long-term plan. If you can no longer travel easily to the grocery store or cannot cook, for example, your family and friends may like to deliver some of your meals while others are delivered by a local aid program such as Meals on Wheels.
  •  Think about what services are acceptable to you: Would you mind having an aide come in to help you bathe and dress? Also consider whether your plans are realistic: If you don’t drive, will you always be able to depend on a friend to drive you to appointments or will you need to arrange for bus or taxi service?
    • Before you start firming up plans, find out what services are covered under Medicare or Medicaid, and what your private insurance will and will not cover. Insurance coverage is often very limited and your finances may not be adequate for all the services you would like. Remember that Medicare and private “Medigap” insurance only pay for short-term home health care and nursing home stays
    • Decisions about long-term care shouldn’t be made hastily. You do have time to think about your plans.
    •  Be flexible. Ideas that sounded fine six months ago may no longer be right for you. Your plan may need to be amended as your needs change or as different programs become available.

    Reference:

    National Institute on Aging
    Age Page
    Planning for Long-Term Care.

    When more care is needed

    It may happen that your support network of family, friends and local meal or transportation programs are not enough to ensure your care an safety. If you are finding many everyday activities difficult, you may need to find a new home with round-the-clock services. There are two main types of residential care:

    • Assisted living permits people to have a residence of their own, but still have access to care. Such arrangements range from room-and-board in a privately run seniors’ home to a fully-equipped apartment in a large building. You may be able to choose from a menu of services, such as some or all meals in the dining room, recreation programs, and help with housekeeping tasks, and personal and medical needs.
    • Retirement homes or nursing homes, sometimes called “skilled nursing homes”, provide 24-hour service and supervision. Many residents will have one or more health problems that require medical and rehabilitation services on site.

     Reference:

    National Institute on Aging

    Retirement Communities: 6 Questions to Ask When Searching for a Place to Retire

    Retirement Communities: 6 Questions to Ask When Searching for a Place to Retire

    When deciding on a retirement community for you or a loved one, there are many factors to take into consideration. Where do you want to live? What type of community do you want to live in? How much can you afford? Here are several of the many important questions to ask yourself or your parents when trying to decide on a retirement community.

    1. Where do you or a loved one want to live?
    Location is the key to beginning a search for a retirement community. Do you want to stay in the same town, city or state that you live in now? Many seniors decide to move to a warmer climate to enjoy their retirement. However, some seniors would rather experience all four seasons or would rather stay in their area. Whatever your choice, deciding what part of the world you want to live in is very important in trying to find a retirement community.

    2. What type of community do you want to live in?
    There are many different types of communities that are now available for retiring seniors. Try learning more about these communities and deciding which is best for you:

    Active Retirement Communities
    Assisted Living Retirement Communities
    Independent Living Retirement Communities
    Continuing Care Retirement Communities
    Alzheimer’s Care Communities
    Skilled Nursing Care Retirement Communities

    After you find what type of community you want to live in, check out the cost. Also, make sure to check accreditation, licensing and the credentials of each prospective community. You want to be living in the best place for you, and need to be extra safe in doing the research for the community.

    3. How are the local services?
    When searching for a retirement community, look for grocery stores, gas stations, churches, hospitals, salons, pharmacies and different shops to make life easier for when you do move.

    4. What are some living amenities?
    Many retirement communities offer different types of housing for seniors. Many seniors prefer to choose places with elevators, wide hallways, shower chairs and good lighting that include meal plans and wheelchair accessibility. Some seniors choose to live in a community that offers a very active lifestyle. Many of the active lifestyle communities include golf, tennis and swimming activities, and concentrate on health and fitness to help you enjoy your retirement. Some of these might not apply to you, so just write down the living amenities you prefer to live with, and use that as a frame of reference when looking for a retirement community.

    5. Is this place safe?
    It is always important to keep safety in mind when looking for any home. Ask the following questions:

    Is there security personnel on staff at night?
    Is the retirement community located within the confines of a gated community?
    How are the locks on the main door?
    When finding a new place to live, it is nice to get to know what the neighborhood is like before moving so you are not caught off guard a week after you move in. Most of the time, you can tell whether a place is safe by looking at. Be sure to check during different times of the day. Ask could-be neighbors, gas station clerks, staff members or check with the local police department to see if the community is an ideal place for you.

    6. Is the staff friendly?
    An important aspect of a retirement community is a friendly and helpful staff. Many times people overlook the staff members when deciding on a retirement home. Remember, these people will be a major part of your life! Make a visit to the community and speak with actual staff members. As you walk through the community, observe how staff members and residents interact with each other. You want your retirement to be enjoyable, and it can be a lot more fun if the staff members in your community are easy to interact with.

    Just as you would tour a house or apartment before buying or renting, you should tour a prospective retirement community to see where you fit in. After all, this is going to be a place where you plan on enjoying your retirement! Be sure it is right for you!

    Source: http://www.articlecircle.com/ – Free Articles Directory

     

    About the Author

    M.J. Joseph is a freelance writer from Kansas City, MO. You can read more of his articles about retirement communities, senior care and senior activities at Find a Retirement CommunityFor information about retirement communities in your area, visit Find-RetirementCommunity.com.

    How to Tell When It’s Time for Professional Home Health Care

    As they grow older, most people want to continue living independently in their own homes. They want to remain self-sufficient in their familiar surroundings. That’s certainly expected and natural. But all too often the very fact of aging affects people’s ability to care for themselves and manage their daily living, and this creates health and safety concerns. Many adult children become their parents’ primary caregivers, taking on all the responsibilities that go with keeping up the quality of their parents’ lives. When caring for themselves becomes progressively too difficult, or when the responsibilities of the adult children become overwhelming, it is time for both seniors and their families to consider professional home health care.


    Here Are 20 Signs That Signal the Need for Professional Home Health Care:

      Inability to manage personal care:
       

    1. The person does not bathe, groom, and perform oral hygiene.
       
    2. The person does not dress appropriately.
       
    3. He or she becomes incontinent and is unable to cleanse properly.
       
    4. The person forgets to eat, does not eat nutritious meals, and loses weight.
       
    5. He or she forgets to take medication, is confused about what to take and when, or is unable to administer injections or change bandages. 
      Inability to manage functional activities of daily living:
       
    6. The person doesn’t do laundry, or doesn’t change his or her clothes or linen.
       
    7. He or she lets dirty dishes and garbage pile up.
       
    8. The person leaves the stove and other appliances on, creating a safety hazard.
       
    9. He or she is unable to do grocery shopping.
       
    10. He or she is unable to use the telephone.
       
    11. The person doesn’t pay bills or manage money properly. 
      Change in emotional, mental or physical condition:
       
    12. The person has difficulty understanding others.
       
    13. The person has difficulty remembering names, situations, and locations.
       
    14. He or she gets lost easily.
       
    15. The person starts to wander.
       
    16. The person has sudden mood swings, becoming angry or depressed.
       
    17. He or she falls down often.
       
    18. He or she becomes isolated, cutting off social contacts.
       
    19. The person is incapable of making decisions.
       
    20. He or she suffers a stroke, loss of limb, or other major physical impairment.

    Patient Care Advocacy Organizations

    State and Private Agencies
    Investigate Complaints of Poor Treatment

    What if you are not satisfied with the quality of care?

    One of the most difficult challenges for caregivers occurs when problems arise with the facility or heath care professionals who are supposed to help the senior. If you are not satisfied with the quality of care, discuss your concerns with the facility’s director. You might also want to speak with the senior’s physician, facility medical director or other appropriate staff member.
    Misunderstandings rather than poor intentions cause many problems, and talking with staff and managers can frequently resolve them. Moreover, federal and state laws require facilities to investigate complaints about treatment. However, if directly approaching those involved does not produce results, you may have to turn to one or more advocacy organizations. These include:

    ·          Ombudsman programs, which investigate complaints against long-term care facilities
    ·          Peer review organizations (PROs), which oversee quality of care for Medicare patients
    ·          State survey agencies, which conduct reviews of nursing homes
    ·          Professional licensing boards, which can sanction their members
    ·          Law enforcement agencies, which can investigate criminal activities

    Ombudsman Programs

    If you have a complaint about a nursing home or other facility you cannot resolve with the staff, try the local ombudsman program. Ombudsman programs are independent nonprofit agencies mandated by law to protect the rights of residents in long-term care facilities and investigate complaints. Every state has an ombudsman program; most of the programs maintain local branches in different parts of the state.

    State and federal laws require facilities to post contact information for the ombudsman program in their area. Ombudsmen can meet with residents and their caregivers and families to discuss quality of care, financial issues, dietary matters and other areas of concern. Ombudsmen can also mediate disputes between facilities and residents or their representatives.

    Ombudsmen have no enforcement authority. However, ombudsmen refer their findings to the state survey agency, which is mandated to regulate nursing homes. Since neither the facility nor the state employs them, their recommendations carry special weight with state survey agencies.

    Peer Review Organizations

    If you have a complaint about a doctor, hospital, managed care plan or nursing home that you cannot resolve with that physician or organization, try contacting your state’s Peer Review Organization. These organizations — also known as Quality Improvement Organizations — investigate complaints about any care a patient has received under Medicare.

    However, like ombudsmen, they have no enforcement authority. If enforcement is necessary, the PRO may refer a complaint to the state survey agency or the relevant licensing board.

    State Survey Agencies

    If neither the ombudsmen nor the PRO is able to help you, you can turn to the state survey agency, also sometimes known as a state licensing agency. These agencies enforce federal guidelines regulating nursing homes and have the power to issue sanctions and impose penalties against facilities with substandard practices.

    The possible penalties vary widely, from monetary fines to bringing in a temporary management team to even — although this is rare — closing down a facility. These agencies also conduct annual inspections of every Medicare- or Medicaid-certified nursing home.

    Professional Licensing Boards

    If your complaint is with a nursing home, the state survey agency has enforcement authority; however, if your complaint is with a physician, nurse or hospital, you can turn to the professional licensing board. The boards oversee standards for medical professionals and facilities and can exercise disciplinary authority if necessary.

    For example, physicians are licensed through a state board of medical examiners which can sanction them or revoke their medical licenses; nurses are licensed through a state board of nursing, and most hospitals undergo accreditation through the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospital Organizations. You can find phone numbers in the state government section of your telephone book.

    Law Enforcement Agencies

    If you have a complaint about a facility or care provider that is so serious you believe a law has been broken, you should call a law enforcement agency. These agencies have responsibility in cases of criminal misconduct. For example, a licensed medical professional who steals a patient’s pain medication could face both malpractice and criminal charges. Licensing boards deal only with the professional licenses, so the state’s attorney general or the local police would investigate a possible criminal violation.

    In serious or life-threatening situations, such as physical or sexual abuse, any individual can call the local police department, the city attorney’s office or the state’s attorney general. You can find the numbers in the government section of your telephone book.
    source caregiverzone.com

    10 Tips on How to Prepare for Home Health Care

    Making preparations for a home health care giver is a good way to ease your parent’s transition from total independence to needing help with her daily life. Simple, clear lists will enable the caregiver to handle her duties smoothly and create the least amount of tension.
    Here are 10 tips to help you prepare for home health care:

    • Make a list of clearly written emergency phone numbers: police, fire department, ambulance, physicians, dentist, and other health care providers, pharmacist, home and work number of grown children, number of a close neighbor.
    • Make a list of helpful phone numbers: the market, library, repairmen, clergymen, other relatives and grandchildren, friends.
    • Make a list of your parent’s likes and dislikes including food preferences, TV programs, outings, and routines.
    • Make a list of all medications and the times they are to be taken. (Note: Home health aides do not administer medications. They can, however, remind patients when to take their medications.)
       
    • Make a list of what you would like accomplished on a daily basis, such as eating meals, bathing, changing clothes, an exercise regime, getting outdoors.
       
    • Put a baby monitor next to your parent’s bed or buy a telephone with an intercom so that he can easily call for help.
       
    • If your parent needs help moving from bed to chair or to the bathroom, provide equipment that will make home care easier — electric bed, wheelchairs, walkers, bed rails.
       
    • Make sure the home health care giver has a place to put her belongings, food that suits her taste, and a place for privacy.
       
    • Make a list of reminders of certain “house rules” such as no smoking, religious observances, alcohol consumption, and other concerns you or your parent might have.
       
    • Encourage a good relationship between your parent and the health care giver. Allow the care giver to express her own ways of doing things and her own needs.

    Tips Information provided by Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

    10 Tips on Handling Resistance to Home Health Care

    When the time comes for you to realistically consider home health care for loved ones who can no longer safely live on their own, nine times out of ten you will meet with their strong resistance. The people who very much need the care are generally adamantly against giving up their independence and autonomy, and that is understandable. But, rather than coming up against their resistance with your own arguments, stand back and try to offer appropriate responses that acknowledge their feelings and provide suggestions to alleviate their fears.

    • When your parent says, “I don’t need any help,” point out how overwhelmed she gets doing normal household chores; or how she forgets to renew important prescriptions, or how she has set off the smoke alarm several times in a month, or any other specific examples. Then tell her how much more comfortable and less confusing her life would be with help. Show her that home care would enable her to stay in her home as long as possible.
    • When your parent says, “I like things done my way. I’m the only one who knows what to give your father to eat,” tell her she can be involved in supervising the health care giver. 
    • When your parent says, “I don’t want a stranger in my house,” allay her fears by staying over one or two days and by popping in to see how things are at different hours of the day and night. 
    • When your parent says, “I’m not throwing away my savings when I can manage on my own,” contact her accountant or financial planner to assure her that she can afford help. Also discuss the fact that it is not practical to worry about savings at this time in her life. 
    • When your parent says, “I won’t have any of those people in my house,” discuss the matter of prejudice and urge her simply to give the home health care giver a try. 
    • When your parent says, “Absolutely no,” contact the home care agency and arrange a home visit with another senior who is happy with her care giver. Seeing a positive situation is always good motivation. 
    • Encourage your parent to express her fears and concerns about what is happening to her. 
    • Discuss what would happen if she won’t let people help her. Let her experience a day without your help — no meals, soiled clothing — so that she sees that she needs regular assistance. 
    • Slowly introduce your parent to outside services. For example, arrange to have someone deliver her meals or do her shopping. A kind, compassionate person coming into her home may earn her trust and prepare her to be open to further assistance. 
    • If the situation requires immediate attention, consider hiring a geriatric care manager who has the expertise to help your parent accept assistance.

    Tips Information provided by Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

    Choosing the Type of Care You Need

    Choosing a nursing home is a very important decision. You need to think about whether a nursing home is the best choice for you. A nursing home provides care to people who cannot be cared for at home or in the community. For people who can’t take care of themselves due to physical, emotional, or mental problems, nursing homes can provide a wide range of personal care and health services. For many people, this care generally is custodial, or non-skilled.
    Care in a nursing home can be very expensive. Nursing homes usually provide 24-hour medical care as well as room, meals, activities, and some personal care. Most nursing homes charge a basic fee for room, meals, and some personal care. You may have to pay extra for other services or care for special medical needs. It is important to get a list of fees in advance and discuss these costs and how you will pay for them. 

    A nursing home may not be your only choice for your personal care and health services. Depending on your needs and resources, there are other kinds of living and care choices available for long-term care. You can get long-term care at home, in senior centers, at community centers, or in special retirement or assisted living facilities. You may need help from family and friends, community services, and professional care agencies. You may wish to talk to your family, doctor, or a social worker to help decide what long-term care you need.

    Listed on the next few pages are some of the most common kinds of long-term care. These long-term care choices may be called by other names in different states. The services and costs may vary between facilities as well. Call your local Area Agency on Aging for a list of long-term care choices in your state. To get their telephone number look at www.aoa.gov on the web. Or, call the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 (weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time) ask them for your local Area Agency on Aging telephone number. Ask your local Area Agency on Aging for a list of long-term choices in your state.

    Community Services: There are a variety of community services that might help you with your personal activities. Some services, like volunteer groups that help with things like shopping or transportation, may be free. Some services may be available for a cost that can vary depending on where you live and the services you need. Below is a list of some home services and programs that are found in most communities:
    • Adult day care
    • Meal programs (like Meals-on-Wheels)
    • Senior centers
    • Friendly visitor programs
    • Help with shopping and transportation
    • Help with legal questions, bill paying, or other financial matters
    For information about community services, call your local Area Agency on Aging. You can get the telephone number of your local Area Agency on Aging by looking at www.aoa.gov on the web. Select “About AoA and the Aging Network.” Then select “Area Agencies on Aging.” Or, you can call the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 (weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time) for your local Area Agency on Aging telephone number.

    Home Care: Depending on your needs, you may be able to get help with your personal activities (for example, help with the laundry, shopping, cooking, and cleaning) at home from family members, friends, or volunteer groups. If you think you need home care, talk to your family to see if they can help with your care or help arrange for other care providers.
    There are also home health care agencies that give custodial and/or skilled nursing care in your home. Remember, Medicare only pays for home care if you meet certain conditions.

    Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs): If you or a loved one owns a single-family home, an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) may help you keep your independence. An ADU, sometimes called an “in-law apartment,” an “accessory apartment,” or a “second unit,” is a second living space within a home or on a lot. It has a separate living and sleeping area, a place to cook, and a bathroom. Space such as an upper floor, basement, attic, or space over a garage may be turned into an ADU. Family members might be interested in living in an ADU in your home, or, you may want to build a separate living space at your family member’s home.
    Check with your local zoning office to be sure ADUs are allowed in your area, and if there are special rules. The cost for an ADU can vary widely depending on how big it is, and how much it costs for building materials and workers.
    Subsidized Senior Housing: There are Federal and State programs that help pay for housing for some older people with low to moderate incomes. Some of these housing programs also offer help with meals and other activities like housekeeping, shopping, and doing the laundry. Residents usually live in their own apartments in the complex. Rent payments are usually a percentage of your income.
    Board and Care Homes: Board and care homes are group living arrangements designed to meet the needs of people who cannot live independently but do not need nursing home services. Most board and care homes provide help with some of the activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom. Board and care homes are sometimes called “group homes.” Many of these homes do not get payment from Medicare or Medicaid. The monthly
    charge is usually a percentage of your income.
    Assisted Living Facilities: These facilities provide help with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom. They may also help with care most people do themselves like taking medicine or using eye drops and additional services like getting to appointments or preparing meals. Residents often live in their own room or apartment within a building or group of buildings and have some or all of their meals together. Social and recreational activities are usually provided. Some assisted living facilities have health services on site. In most cases, assisted living residents pay a regular monthly rent, and then pay additional fees for the services that they get. The term “Assisted Living” may mean different things in different facilities. Not all assisted living facilities provide the same services. It is important that you contact the facility and make sure they can provide you assistance to meet your needs.
    Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs): CCRCs are retirement communities with more than one kind of housing and different levels of care. Where you live depends on the level of care you need. In the same community, there may be individual homes or apartments for residents who still live on their own, an assisted living facility for people who need some help with daily care, and a nursing home for those who require higher levels of care. Residents move from one level to another based on their needs, but stay within the CCRC.
    If you are considering a CCRC, be sure to check the record of its nursing home. Your CCRC contract usually requires you to use the CCRC’s nursing home if you need nursing home care. Some CCRC’s will only admit people into their nursing home if they have previously lived in another section of the retirement community, such as their assisted living or an independent area. Also, many CCRCs generally require a large payment before you move in (called an entry fee) and charge monthly fees. You can also find out if a CCRC is accredited and get advice on selecting this type of community from Continuing Care Accreditation Commission at 1-202-783-7286. Or, you can look at www.ccaconline.org on the web.
    Hospice Care: Hospice is a special way of caring for people who are terminally ill, and for their family. This care includes physical care and counseling. The goal of hospice is to care for you and your family, not to cure your illness. If you qualify for hospice care, you can get medical and support services, including nursing care, medical social services, doctor services, counseling, homemaker services, and other types of services. You will have a team of doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, counselors and trained volunteers to help you and your family cope with your illness. In many cases, you and your family can stay together in the comfort of your home. Medicare covers hospice care if you qualify. Medicare does not pay for 24-hour assistance if you get hospice services at home. Depending on your condition, you may get hospice care in a hospice facility, hospital, or nursing home. Room and board are not covered if you get general hospice services while you are a resident of a nursing home or a hospice’s residential facility. However, room and board are covered for inpatient respite care and during short-term hospital stays.
    Some nursing homes may provide respite care. Respite care is inpatient care given to a hospice patient so that the usual caregiver can rest. Medicare covers respite care if you are getting covered hospice care.

    Unhappy With a Nursing Home? Considering a Move?

    Despite all your best efforts, you may find that a senior you care for is in a nursing home that is not meeting your expectations. What do you do? This article examines the questions about when, and how, to choose a new nursing home
    Admitting someone in your care to a nursing home may be one of the most emotionally traumatic things you ever do. You and the senior will go through an adjustment period that may last several weeks before you reach some sort of equilibrium.
    The same thing happens to all of us when our social situation changes. If you think back in your life you may remember starting school, moving away to college, or starting a new job. You may also remember advice you received from your parents and later gave to your children, such as “stick with it,” or “You don’t want to be a quitter.”
    It is also important to recognize that situations where everyone is happy are rare. Be realistic in your expectations. For example, you must have a quality facility that treats people with dignity; but don’t expect rave reviews from the senior. For most people, being in a nursing home is what they had feared and hoped to avoid.

    Beware of Judging the Facility Based on Traumatic Reaction to the Move

    With that in mind, remember to “Stick with it.” Especially in the beginning, there will most likely be a traumatic initial adjustment to even the best facility. So don’t make the mistake of evaluating a nursing home based on your own emotional state rather than an honest appraisal of the care and attention the senior is receiving. Remember that building a relationship with the staff of the new facility is the best way to assure that they understand the needs of the senior and for you to get timely, honest information back. Also, bear in mind that staff in a nursing home work efficiently because of routines and standardization. This means they may not provide care exactly the way you do. In fact, they probably cannot provide care the way you do.

    Keep the Senior Involved in the Decision Making Process

    However, there are times when an honest appraisal of your situation demands that you seriously consider moving the senior to a new facility. As we explore this idea we will look at some of the issues and even warning signs that indicate you should consider a change. We will also discuss the down side of moving and the effects that a change may have on the senior. All in all, the placement decision should be dictated by what is in the senior’s best interest, and should be made by those who are most qualified to understand and interpret his wishes. The senior should always be kept informed and involved in the decision-making process unless a physical or mental condition precludes it.
    The best advice, of course, is to carefully select the right nursing home for the initial placement. But, even if you did all your homework, some placements may not be permanent for a variety of reasons. What are some valid reasons to consider a move, and how do you go about arranging it?

    Improvement in Condition Is a Good Reason to Move

    The most positive reason for changing placements is that the senior improves in health to a point that certain skilled services are no longer needed. Many more people enter nursing homes for rehabilitation today than just a few years ago. Many, if not most, placements are seen as temporary because of a physical condition such as a stroke or fracture.

    Medical Concerns and Uncaring Staff Can Be Reasons to Move

    Of the negative reasons to change placements, quality of care is the most important. Medical signs that are the most telling include:
    • Significant weight loss
    • Dehydration
    • Bedsores
    However, you should ask to discuss your concerns with the director of nurses before drawing conclusions since there may be a valid medical reason for all of these conditions becoming unavoidable. You might want to back this up by discussing it with the physician or facility medical director. Other questions you want to ask yourself and the senior include:
    • Does the senior feel comfortable discussing concerns with the staff?
    • Are management staff receptive to your concerns?
    • Do the staff, in general, seem to care about the senior?
    Remember, one employee doesn’t represent the whole facility. Report any behavior that does not meet your expectations.

    Moving Can Be Traumatic; Try Every Reasonable Way to Resolve the Problem First

    Stability is important for a senior’s sense of well being. When a problem comes up, consider whether you are dealing with a minor annoyance or a real issue. Communicate your concern to a management level person and give them a chance to explain or resolve it. Do what you can reasonably do to try to avoid moving the senior.
    The potential burdens of relocation include relocation trauma, which in some cases may be fatal to a frail elderly person, especially someone who has been in one location for a long time or is significantly confused. The very frail do not have the inner reserves to handle physical or emotional stress as well as they did when they were healthier. All moves, even those carefully planned for very good reasons, entail a certain amount of stress. As many as 10 percent of people moved from a skilled care facility will die from a range of causes which can include depression, loss of appetite, and onset of pneumonia.
    Another, much less severe side effect of relocation is simply that you and your senior will experience another adjustment period in the new facility. There are times, however, when the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

    Moving Will Require Coordination; the Current Facility Should Help You

    If, after careful consideration, you and the senior decide it is necessary to move, how do you go about it? The process of relocating is as simple as notifying the current facility that you wish to move. Nursing homes are obligated to assist you in the relocation process, which is usually handled through the social services director.
    The amount and kind of help the nursing home provides can vary significantly, depending on your needs and the senior’s needs. You may wish to choose the new facility yourself; however, the discharge planner can also make all the calls and find a suitable new placement. Bear in mind that if the senior entered the current facility as a self-paying resident and converted to Medicaid while there, in searching for a new facility, you will be limited to those which accept Medicaid. The discharge planner can also arrange for an ambulance to move your senior, if necessary, and for someone to pack up and move personal possessions.
    When and if you decide to change nursing homes you should be as thorough in your search for a new home as you were in your original search. Involve the senior in the decision-making process and make the move if it is in her best interest.
     source: caregiverzone.com

    Nursing Facilitiesnu

    Nursing Homes are one of the most widely recognized types of housing for the elderly. They provide care for individuals who need nursing care without being in a hospital. A doctor supervises this type of care and state boards of health regulate these facilities. Nursing homes also offer short-term and respite care for those whom need rehabilitation care.

    Nursing Facilities Resources: (Off Site Links):
    • Senior Resource.com (Off Site)

      This website from Senior Resource describes where you’ll find skilled nursing facilities and many suggestions to considers when shopping for the right nursing home.

    • Medicare.gov (Off Site)

      This web page offers information about Medicare and Medicaid supported nursing homes throughout America. It also offers a database to search for nursing homes in every state as well as good questions to ask about services offered and care provided

    The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing (Off Site)

    The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing seeks to shape the quality of health care older Americans receive by promoting the highest level of geriatric competence in all nurses. By raising the standards of nursing care, the Hartford Institute aims to ensure that people age with optimal function, comfort and dignity.source administration on aging

    ServicesNursing Homes, or Skilled Nursing Facilities, are designed for seniors who are in need of 24-hour nursing care. Nursing Facilities provide many of the same residential components of other senior care options including room and board, personal care, protection supervision, and may offer other types of therapy. Their onsite medical staff sets them apart from other types of senior housing. Nursing care is provided by registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), and nurses aides at all hours of the day.