How do I get started in making health care decisions for myself or loved one?
Get started by including your primary care physician in the decision-making process. He or she can tell you about your loved one's physical, mental and emotional well-being so that you can start to understand what care will be the most beneficial.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 or older or people under 65 with certain disabilities or end-stage renal disease. Medicare does not cover all expenses and is not designed to pay for long-term custodial care. so it is important to understand the program. For patients meeting requirements, Medicare helps cover the costs for hospital stays, skilled nursing home stays up to 100 days and hospice care. Our admission team members will be happy to provide you with current rates and coverage.
What are the different levels of care available?
Skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers are for those recovering from illness, injury or surgery. Many patients need additional medical and rehabilitative therapies before successfully transitioning from hospital to home. In addition, some residents choose to make a skilled nursing center their permanent home. In this case, it usually means residents need medical supervision and support that can no longer be provided at home safely. Many times patients transitioning home from a hospital or skilled nursing center still need some medical and rehabilitative support at home. Home care can provide this assistance along with medication management, education about a newly diagnosed disease, lifestyle changes and IV care. Assisted living centers are designed for those who still want to retain their independence but need some assistance with taking medications, bathing, dressing or meal preparation. Some assisted living centers are designed specifically for patients with Alzheimer's disease. Programming is focused on maintaining skills and retaining quality of life. Hospice care is available for patients diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. Hospice can provide the physical, emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families to help work through this challenging time.
What is Medicaid?
The Medicaid program provides medical benefits to low-income people who have no medical insurance or inadequate medical insurance. The federal government establishes general guidelines for the program, but each state establishes the program's requirements including eligibility. You can find out more about the Medicaid program through cms.gov or by talking to our admissions team.
What should I look for when choosing a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center?
For short-term stays focused on rehabbing a patient home, ask the center about its successful outcomes treating patients with your or your loved one's illness, injury or disease. Ask about the staff's knowledge about post-hospital care. Tour the center for cleanliness, friendliness of staff and amenities that are important to you. Ask to sample food and visit with patients similar to you or your loved one.
What should I look for when choosing an assisted living center?
In assisted living centers, seniors maintain control and independence while receiving assistance with daily activities such as bathing and dressing. Around-the-clock nursing staff is usually not available. Ask for a tour and visit the center during off hours. Sample food, check out the activities schedule, visit with residents and ask about talking to family members. Ask the administrative team about its current survey history. Most locations require private payment, so ask about cost and consider whether this works with your financial situation.
What should I look for when selecting a home care provider?
When selecting a home care agency, gather information about how long it has been in business, the range of services provided to meet your needs, the staff's knowledge in caring for patients with your particular needs, and if staff are insured and bonded. Ask to meet with staff and assess their commitment to meeting your physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Ask about any specialized services the agency offers and whether or not it is CHAP-certified.
What should I look for when selecting an Alzheimer's care facility?
When searching for care for a loved one living with Alzheimer's disease or related dementia, the focus should be on finding a location that has a warm, peaceful and safe environment. Ask what type of programming is offered and if it is customized to each individual. How do they handle residents who are no longer interested in eating, or those who wander or exhibit behavior such as depression? Ask to speak to current family members. Visit the center and watch how the staff interacts with the residents Check out the cleanliness of residents and the center.
What should I look for when selecting a hospice care provider?
Hospice providers should ensure that your loved one spends his or her final days in comfort. Ask the agency about staff knowledge. Do they have volunteers and counselors trained for your specific needs? Are they focused on meeting your loved one's and family's wishes? Will they provide support for mind, body and spirit? Do they have testimonials from satisfied families? Can you speak to them? Are they CHAP-accredited?
As a caregiver, I feel I need some help. Where can I turn to?
As the child or spouse of an aging or ill loved one, guilt or fear may prevent you from getting the help you need. Our admissions team will be happy to provide you with literature support, community support programs and information about our services, including respite care, to help you take a break and get the rest you may need.
What should I think about when moving a loved one into a long-term care setting?
Making the move to a long-term care setting can be one of the most difficult decisions you make. To help you and your loved one get acquainted with the center, make sure you discuss these items with the health care providers so they can help make the transition as smooth as possible. What are the patient's diet likes and dislikes? How mobile is she? How much can she manage her personal care and hygiene? What were her former living conditions like? What support did she have? What role does religion play in your loved one's life? What are your loved one's routines and habits, as well as hobbies? What about mental capacity? Does your loved one fear new surroundings? Does she socialize easily?
I am concerned about the flu. What preventative measures should I take?
Always check with your physician, but the best way to avoid the flu is by getting a flu vaccine. You can also avoid picking up germs or spreading them by washing your hands frequently, avoiding large crowds during flu season and not visiting facilities if you are feeling ill. Cdc.gov has additional information about the flu and the flu vaccine.
Visiting my loved one at a long-term care center is difficult. How can I make it more enjoyable and fulfilling for both of us?
Visitors are very important to our residents, and a well-planned visit can be rewarding for both of you. When visiting a loved one, talk to the staff about the best time to visit your loved one. Coach your children on what to expect, and plan an activity such as working on a photo album, writing letters, playing cards or a game, or eating a meal together. If your loved one can manage, plan an activity outside of the center. Check with the center on its policy on bringing cherished pets to the facility for visits.