Are Nursing Homes bad? Be an investigator and an advocate!
Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Homes can be really bad places for your loved ones or really good! What can you do when a nursing home becomes your only choice?
First of all, do a lot of research of any facility you are considering. Visit the facility and meet with the manager, the intake person and anyone else you can talk to. If you know any of the residents or their families, talk to them and see what they think. Be friendly and smile a lot, they are judging you too.
When you decide that a facility is appropriate get your loved one’s name on their waiting list immediately. Don’t be overly concerned if the waiting list is long, waiting list are very volatile and can change daily. Get on as many waiting list as possible.
BE AN ADVOCATE – Once your loved one is in an assisted living or Nursing Home facility; become the best advocate you and your family can be. Below are what we came to believe are best practices;
- Someone from the family needs to visit every day if possible. If other family members live close then try to share those visits with them.
- Visit at different times of the day and get to know the workers on each shift.
- Be friendly to all workers (they have a hard job) and to all residents. Get to know their names.
- Get to know other family members of residents, especially if there is a roommate.
- Listen to your loved one’s opinion about his or her treatment. If there is a problem then bring it to the attention of the head nurse right away in a friendly manner.
- If a problem continues, don’t be afraid to bring it to the attention of the facility manager. They are very concerned about any reports of abuse. Most problems in our experience are system or communication problems which can be solved with proper training.
- If you or a family member cannot be there every day, there are “sitters” you can hire to go and just be company to them. Those sitters can become advocates too.
Our family has experienced three parents in home care, assisted living and nursing homes. We’ve had good experiences the majority of the time by doing those practices listed above. We view most of the workers at these facilities as “saints” and try to treat them that way. Most are underpaid and over worked. Being nice to them pays dividends to your loved ones.
What has been your experiences? Please leave your comments, good or bad!
Recently, I was asked for help in finding a long-term care facility for the husband of a friend who is presently very ill and in a rehabilitation facility. Since he is a veteran, I contacted a Veteran’s Home in a town nearest to our friend’s home with the following discoveries.
Speaking by phone to the Veterans Home’s Admission Director, I asked the following questions and got the following answers from the director.
- What is the application process for this veteran who is presently in a rehabilitation facility in a nearby town? The Admission Director said that the present facility would have to send them a referral for a transfer to the Veteran’s Home.
- When asked if there was a waiting list, the Admission Director said there is a waiting list but because he was presently in a rehabilitation center he could be admitted, if eligible, without being on the waiting list.
- When asked about the Per Diem afforded to veterans at the Veteran’s Home, the Admission Director stated that he would be eligible for the 110 dollars per day if admitted and he would be responsible for the remainder of 155 dollars.
- When asked about the possibility of Aid and Attendance funds for veterans and if he got those funds could they be used for paying the 155 dollars per day. The Admission Director stated that he could use that money to pay toward the 155 dollars, his part of the daily rate.
- The veteran is also receiving dialysis three days per week and when asked about help with getting to those appointments the Admission Director stated that the patient would have to contract with a local company to receive those treatments.
The answers from the Admission Director were very encouraging and I would advise our friend to visit the Veteran’s Home and get confirmation on all these questions since the answers are to my best recollection and need to be doubled checked in case I misunderstood.
Plus, a personal visit would give our friend a close look at the staff and the facility to see it is a good fit for her husband.
When my wife’s parent became ill and needed more care than we could give them we needed several documents immediately. The most important was a Power of Attorney since we needed to start making decision for them. The sooner you have this document the better. If the person is not mentally capable of giving you their Power of Attorney them it may be too late. A Will, an Advance Health Care Directive and a Trust are the other “most” important documents to have in your possession as soon as possible! Below is a short and beginning list of the most important documents needed but not all. Another post coming soon will list others. Study these and make sure you understand them.
The Most Important Documents for Boomers and their Children!
Will (especially if you have under age children)
Many Boomers do not have a will. Having a lawyer’s help is the best way to create a will but its important to have a will now. Click here to discover what your state requires and you can have a will today.
Advance Directive or Advance Health Care Directive
When visiting your doctor you may have been asked if you have an Advance Health Care Directive, Click here
to discover what they mean. If you are ever incapacitated it will be very important to your family members to have these instructions. Also known as Living Will, Health Care Proxy and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)
What is a “Trust”, how is it different from a Will? Click Here for a definition of a Trust.
Power Of Attorney
Wow!! This is a complicated one. Be sure to read the whole definition. Click Here to find out about Power of Attorney and what it can mean to you and your family.
Senior Citizens Need Help
Even though we started getting mail when we turned forty from organizations telling us we were now seniors, my wife and I did not know how much we needed help as Senior Citizens until we were in our fifties. We didn’t even know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid!
The tipping point was when my wife’s parents needed our help to live at home. Her father started have mini-seizures and before long he could not take care of himself at home even with his wife’s and our help. After many trips to the hospital and stays in rehabilitation centers, he became confined to a long term care health center for his care.
Medicare vs. Medicaid?
At that point, we did not even know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. We soon learned that to pay the super expensive care of a long term care facility, we had to get him on Medicaid.
The High Cost of Long Term Care
Soon after, his wife, my wife’s mother, was diagnosed with Alzheimer and had to be admitted into a special long term care facility in another town for her care. The cost of these two facilities was over 10,000 dollars per month! They could not afford that and we were forced to learn all about Medicaid and how it is different from Medicare.
If you are in your fifties, this will be valuable information for both you and your parents! Medicare/Medicaid
If you are retired and need extra funding for what ever reason, read my review of Wealthy Affiliate on this site. I’m loving it!
This is my first blog in this website. Come back for more in the coming days.