It can be an emotional and confusing experience to have a loved one in a nursing home. Understanding the various aspects of nursing home care and learning how to handle your concerns which may arise will greatly contribute to the success of your loved one’s stay. Here are some of most frequently asked questions.
Yes, under certain circumstances. If a patient has been an inpatient in the hospital for three consecutive days within the last 30 days prior to nursing home admission, they would qualify. However, the patient upon entering the nursing home must have a skilled need as defined by Medicare. If both conditions are met, Medicare will pay the first 20 days in full and from day 21 to 100 the patient will be responsible to pay a co-pay (unless the patient has secondary insurance which will cover; check with your health insurance provider). If at any time during these 100 days the skilled service ceases, Medicare may no longer cover and payment either becomes private pay or Medicaid (if eligible).
A skilled service is a service that has to be provided by licensed professional (i.e. restorative therapies, wound care, dressing changes, tube feedings). A non-professional (i.e., family, friend) can provide custodial care. Custodial needs are generally chronic and occur when the individual requires ongoing supervision and assistance with activities of daily living (i.e., bathing, dressing, eating, and medication). We have recently begun accepting dialysis patients.
No. Medicaid guidelines for eligibility for a spousal situation differ from those that apply to an individual. The “community” or well spouse is allowed to keep some savings and the home in which they reside. Please contact your designated social worker with any additional questions you may have.
No. The patient can designate any one of the eight facilities of choice and rank them in order of preference. However, when the physician determines the patient is medically stable for discharge, bed availability will be confirmed with the facilities. If no bed is available in the preferred facility, it is expected that the patient will accept the bed that is offered.
Note: When pursing placement for patients from the community, the patient can wait until the facility of their choice becomes available.
Yes. Each facility has a social worker who can assist you in pursuing a transfer to your preferred facility.
The physician is consulted to determine the most appropriate mode of transportation.
In order for a patient to be transferred by ambulance, certain medical criteria must be met. Some patients can be transferred to the facility by a wheelchair van or by family if they request to do so, and it is felt the patient can be safely transported by that mode of transportation. Depending upon the circumstances, the patient may be changed for transportation services. Please speak with your social worker if you have any additional questions.
Staff and trained personal are available 24 hours a day to handle emergency situations. Skilled nursing facilities have arrangements with local hospitals and health care professionals for assistance with emergencies. We are only 1.3 miles away from a major hospital.
Yes. Skilled nursing residences have a full calendar of activities and social events for residents, including art classes, ice cream socials, bingo and game night, prayer service, movie night, jewelry making, nail services, and guest speakers. In addition, many have beauty parlors, and other amenities that make the skilled nursing facility more like resort living.
The size and layout varies from nursing home to nursing home. For example, some rooms may be private and others shared. Rooms may have their own bathroom, or they may be shared with others. The best way to determine for yourself whether a skilled nursing residence is the best place for your parent is to schedule a personal visit to tour the facility. You might be surprised at how nice the accommodations really are.
The resident rooms are fully furnished with side tables and dressers. However, you are welcome to bring small items that make you feel more at home as long as it does not violate our safety protocols and doesn’t interfere with your roommate. You should bring with you a bag of clothes to wear and several comfortable layers including clothes for different times of the day. You can bring your favorite photos or small pictures, not large paintings, to put on the wall and you are welcome to bring an extra blanket to make your stay comfortable. Everything that you do bring must be labeled at home or by the facility in order to reduce the possibility of loss or misplacement.
We discourage residents from bringing many valuables with them. Things like rings, wallets, jewelry and money should be put in a safe place at home. If you are being admitted for long term care and Stuart Rehabilitation will be your new home, we have a small safe where we can safely keep your valuables under lock and key. You must have a staff person register your valuables and provide you with a receipt.
Your role as a family member is to help communicate your loved one’s preferences to the staff. It is recommended that you provide the facility with a written personal summary of your loved one’s daily routine, so that the staff can understand how to best accommodate and meet his or her needs.
However, a resident’s wishes always come before those the family may consider important. For instance, if your loved one wants to return to bed but you disagree because you think he or she spends too much time in bed, the staff cannot violate your loved one’s personal rights and will allow and assist him or her to return to bed.
No, you do not need to bring food from home to feed your loved one. Our facility maintains a full kitchen which is kept immaculate following all state and local guidelines. The kitchen, under the leadership of a Dietary Director with over 30 years of food and clinical experience, provides three nutritional meals a day as well as snacks and refreshments between meals. Lastly, our kitchen is stocked with a supply of food for any emergency situation.
However, if you would like to still bring your loved one some love from your own kitchen that would be ok. Please always check with the nurse BEFORE giving any food or drink to your loved one. Some residents are on restricted/special diets and/or require foods or liquids of a specific texture or consistency to prevent them from choking. Giving a resident the wrong type of food or drink (even water!) can be potentially dangerous or harmful.
If approved, you can bring food for your loved ones in a closed/ sealed container that can be wiped down and sanitized. It must also contain a label with a description, resident’s name and date.
Our residents rely entirely on us to meet their nutritional needs. Healthy, tasty food improves everyone’s quality of life and we strive to provide a variety of meals that residents can pick and choose from. Our dietician will interview each resident and find out their dietary preferences and restrictions. Some also may have medical orders for soft or puréed diets. Our staff and kitchen are equipped to accommodate most dietary restrictions and have alternatives for every meal.
This is a good question, and the answer may be complex. It’s normal to lose some weight when we reach our 70’s and 80’s: our taste buds aren’t as good, we eat less; we aren’t as active, so we tend to lose muscle. Some elders gain pounds and require a special diet as intervention. But, for the most part, we actively encourage residents to eat and monitor their intake at every meal. As previously mentioned, each resident is interviewed to review their likes and dislikes. It’s been observed that people with dementia tend to lose weight despite eating well. We choose the correct balanced diet for your loved one but they have the ultimate choice to eat.
For some elders, weight loss is a sign of other problems. When we can, we treat the underlying cause and the weight does stabilize – but not always.
Sometimes, our loved ones fall. Here at Stuart Rehabilitation and Healthcare we try to put several measures in place to prevent falls or injuries due to falls. For example, our beds have guardrails, we lower the bed to the lowest setting, we ensure that the call button is within reach, and that staff are available to assist. Unfortunately, some falls are unavoidable and when one happens, we call the doctor and family right away.
Stuart Rehabilitation and Healthcare does not use physical restraints. We don’t use chemical sedation either. We must use the tools at our disposal such as sensor pads and fall mats and we do our best to do frequent rounds on residents, especially those identified as high risk for falls.
No, we do not allow any appliances like lamps, refrigerators, microwaves, or curling irons in resident rooms because they can increase the risk of fires.
Book a guided tour with one of our dedicated staff and see how we can provide help to you or your loved ones. Contact us for a facility tour and consultation meeting.