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  Understanding Care of the Elderly

About Today’s Nursing Homes

We know that delivering the right care at the right time is the intent of the health care continuum. We also know our customers have a choice each step of the way. We can assist you in finding the right option for the care of your loved one.

Why is my loved one being referred for Long Term Nursing Care?

There are many reasons your physician may have referred your loved one to a nursing facility. If your loved one is recovering from an accident or injury, your physician may have made a referral to a nursing facility for a short-term rehabilitation stay. If your loved one has a chronic, disabling medical condition, referral to a nursing facility will typically be for longer period. In these cases, care in a nursing facility can assist in slowing down the progression of the condition. The facility staff will provide assistance with personal care, such as bathing, dressing, walking and eating, as needed by your loved one.

How is the care in a nursing home different than the care in the hospital?

When your loved one was admitted into the hospital, it was most likely for an acute diagnosis. Your loved one has been stabilized to the degree that discharge from the hospital is possible, but for other reasons a post acute level of care is needed. A nursing facility can provide your loved one the 24-hour nursing care needed, as determined by the physician.

Where should our family begin to find placement for long term nursing care?

Your loved one’s attending physician will assist in determining the services your loved one will need from the nursing home. If your loved one is being discharged from the hospital, a hospital social worker/discharge planner will also assist you.

A direct admission from home is always a possibility. It might be wise to call your loved one’s attending physician to inform them of the admission. To assure your loved one receives the highest level of quality of care possible, information such as a history and physical or progress notes of your loved one’s condition will be needed.

Are rehabilitation therapy services available in a nursing home?

Yes, rehabilitation therapy services are available by physician order, and will require the involvement of licensed therapy staff.

  • Physical therapy works with injuries/disease affecting joint motion, muscle strength and endurance. It can provide pain relief, may restore maximum function and assists in preventing disability.
  • Occupation therapy offers assistance to those needing to achieve or improve functional independence.
  • Speech and language therapy evaluates and treats human communication disorders of speech, language, voice and swallowing.

Who will be taking care of my loved one? How are they trained and monitored?

Nursing homes are staffed with licensed vocational nurses, registered nurses and certified nursing assistants who are licensed by the state. If your loved one requires rehabilitation therapy, our licensed therapists or therapy assistants may also provide care. All employees must pass a criminal history background check.

How am I going to pay for my loved one’s care?

Several payment options are available for a nursing facility stay, including Medicare (when resident meets eligibility criteria), Medicaid (when financial need criteria is met), private insurance (when applicable) and private pay.

The facility’s business office and admissions department can provide detailed assistance in determining the most appropriate form of payment.

What can I do to make my loved one’s stay a little easier while in a nursing home?

It is always recommended that you get involved in the care of your loved one. In most nursing facilities, you are invited to attend the resident’s care plan meetings, which are designed to keep the family informed and involved.

Should you see a change in your loved one, make sure you bring it to the attention of the nurses. When information is shared with the professional staff, better communication results and solutions are easier to find.

What should I bring for my loved one to wear?

Your loved one is encouraged to dress as they would every day a home. Consider having 6 or 7 outfits, marked with your loved one’s name available for the resident to wear. Comfortable slacks, long shorts, or sweat suits and loose fitting short on long sleeve cotton tops are appropriate if the resident is receiving rehabilitation therapy. It is recommended that sneakers or rubber soled tie shoes be worn.

What personal comfort items will make my loved one’s stay more comfortable?

It is important to make your loved one feel comfortable and at ease in the new surroundings. In any care, simple items such as photo albums, family pictures, keepsakes, and afghans or quilts are a good place to start. However, it is not a good idea to bring very expensive items or items with high sentimental value that could easily be lost.

Can I take my loved one home at all during his/her stay at a nursing home?

In most cases, a leave of absence from the facility with the approval of the attending physician is permissible. Since there are certain restrictions based on your loved one’s medical condition and who is paying for the care, it is important that you discuss your needs with the facility social worker or administrative staff.

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