Feb. 06, 2015 @ 08:51 PM
Photo by Debbie Hightower Caregivers at Spring Arbor of Thomasville have made every effort to include items that contribute to a relaxed atmosphere like home.
Families are often overwhelmed when they reach the point where they can no longer care for elderly relatives at home.
In choosing a short-term or long-term residential facility, it’s important to keep in mind the level of care that is needed. Options include assisted living, memory care, in-home care, Independent Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), also called nursing homes.
Nursing Homes are for people who need chronic or rehabilitative care, who on admission are not acutely ill and who do not usually require special facilities such as an operating room, X-ray facilities, laboratory facilities and obstetrical facilities. A nursing home provides care for people who have remedial ailments or other ailments, for which medical and nursing care are needed; who, however, are not sick enough to require general hospital care. Nursing care is their primary need, but they will require continuing medical supervision.
While Davidson County Home Services Manager Angela Kimsey can’t give specific advice about which facility to select, she advises some specific questions that families should ask to determine the best fit for their situation.
• What sort of care option does that person need? Do they have Alzheimers? Do they need help with medications? Do they need to be fed?
A skilled nursing facility may be too much, they may just need assisted living.
• If a person needs rehabilitation, is there a physical therapy staff member on site?
• What is the staff/patient ratio? How many nurses or CNAs do they have and how many patients do they care for?
• If they do need medical care, does the facility provide their own physicians or nurses?
• Ask for an activities schedule. If the person is still active, what kind of activities do they offer and would they be of interest to that person?
• Can individuals take their favorite possessions?
• Options for care may depend on if the person has long-term care insurance. Where are they going to get the resources to pay for it?
Costs can range from $1,000 per month for Independent Living for individuals who don't need assistance with daily activities to more than $10,000 per month for nursing homes with skilled medical professionals who can provide 24-hour support.
“You look at a restaurant's grading, why not check the facility's rating?” said Kimsey. “If they are licensed they are monitored by the state. When was the facility last inspected?”
To access rating information, visit www.caring.com on the AARP web site, which provides a listing of facilities within a 25-mile range of the zip code entered, along with a star rating on overall, health inspections, staffing and quality measures. It also gives you the ability to compare two facilities side-by-side. Another useful resource is www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare.
And, finally, no amount of research can substitute for an on-site visit. Contact the facility in question to arrange a tour of the facilities.
For more help in selecting care options, call Davidson County Ombudsman Ashley Marcolorio at 336-904-0300.
Staff writer Debbie Hightower may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-888-3576.