How do I get started in making health care decisions for myself or loved one?
Include you 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 the care that 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. For patients meeting requirements, Medicare helps cover the costs for hospital stays, skilled nursing home stays up to 100 days and hospice care. Our admissions 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 choose to make a skilled nursing center their permanent home. Typically, this means they 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, which can include medication management, education, 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 and other dementias. 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 requirements, including eligibility. For more, visit cms.gov or speak with our admissions team.
What should I look for when choosing a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center?
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 and amenities that are important to you. Ask to sample food and visit with patients with a condition similar to yours or your loved one’s.
What should I look for when choosing an assisted living center?
In assisted living centers, residents 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 during off hours. Sample food, check out the activities, visit with residents and talk 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 for you.
What should I look for when selecting a home care provider?
Determine how long the provider has been in business, the range of services provided, staff knowledge in caring for patients with your particular needs, and if staff are insured and bonded. 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.
As a caregiver, I feel I need some help. Where can I turn?
If you are a child or spouse of an aging or ill loved one, guilt or fear may prevent you from getting help. Our admissions team will provide you with literature support, community support programs and information about our services, including respite care, to help you get the support you need.
What should I think about when moving a loved one into a long-term care setting?
Discuss the following items with health care providers so they can help ease the transition: What are the patient's diet likes and dislikes? How mobile is he or she? How much can he or she manage personal care and hygiene? What were former living conditions like? What support did he or 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 he or she socialize easily?
I am concerned about the flu. What preventative measures should I take?
Check with your physician, but the best way to avoid the flu is by getting a flu vaccine. Also, wash your hands frequently. Avoid large crowds during flu season and do not visit public facilities if you feel 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?
Talk to the staff about the best time to visit. Also, 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. Plan an activity outside of the center if your loved one can manage. Check with the center on its policy on bringing pets in for visits.