Assisted Living for Both Parents

The Nursing Home Reform Act: What Residents And Their Loved Ones Should Know

Deciding whether an elderly parent needs to live in a nursing home is never an easy one for anyone, but it can be especially difficult if you’re not sure about the rights that your parent would have within a nursing care situation. Luckily, nursing home patients have many rights. Here is what you need to know about the Nursing Home Reform Act and how it can help in home service residents today.

Discuss a Patient’s Rights with Them

Nursing home residents are still benefiting from legislation that was passed in the mid-1980’s. The Nursing Home Reform Act stated specific rights that nursing home patients have. Discuss all of these rights with your parent more than once and ensure that they are provided with all of these rights. A great nursing home manager will be happy to answer any questions about how those rights are honored. Here are some of the rights provided by the Residents’ Bill of Rights of the Nursing Home Reform Act.

  • The Right to Freely Communicate – Your loved one should never be prevented from openly calling you, writing you a letter, or emailing you. Open communication should always be acceptable.
  • The Right to Be Treated with Dignity – All patients should be treated with the utmost respect. They should never be degraded or neglected. Respecting a patient’s dignity is a crucial part of their care.
  • The Right to Be Free of Physical Restraints – Perhaps some major fears of nervous adult children involve care that included physical restraints of their loved ones, but patients are legally protected from any such treatment.
  • The Right to Voice Grievances – If they are mad at a caregiver or other person at the nursing home, a patient should be able to discuss this and complain to the manager or others without facing any sort of negative consequences.
  • The Right to Privacy – Just because a parent may need care that occasionally makes them feel vulnerable doesn’t mean that they are surrendering their privacy in any real way.
  • The Right to Have Accommodation for These Four Basic Needs: Medical, Physical, Social, and Psychological Care – This is a complex one that has a bit of grey area, but all patients deserve to have their needs met. They should be able to go see a doctor, participate in physical activity, enjoy time with friends, and get psychological care as it’s needed.

Finally, keep in mind that these are not the only rights that nursing home patients have, but they are some important ones that you should discuss with any parent or loved one who is living in a nursing home. Empower patients to feel more secure with the choice of a nursing home for their care and well-being by sharing information about these rights with them.

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Questions To Ask A Facility Before Placing Your Elderly Dad In Their Care

As your parent ages, more responsibility falls on you, as the child, to make sure that all of his needs are met. Transitioning from his home to an independent living facility or nursing home can be challenging. You’ll want to make sure that it’s the right move for him, and that he’ll adjust well as time goes on. Here are some questions that you may want to ask before you sign him up for care.

What Type Of Medical Care Do You Provide?

If your dad has an underlying medical issue that requires medical attention, you’ll have to see if the facility you have chosen will provide care. In general the rule of thumb is that:

  • A skilled nursing facility provides 24-hour in-house medical and treatment.
  • An independent living home offers a limited around the clock nursing staff and daily medical checks and visits.
  • An assisted living is similar to independent living but offers more routine medical and nursing care depending on your parent’s needs.

Asking the facility what they offer and how they can customize your dad’s health and personal care should be the number one priority.

How Will We Pay For The Care?

Medical insurance can be a complex issue, especially if your dad has a primary insurance such as Medicare, as well as an additional insurance and supplemental insurance. Ask the facility what is covered and what isn’t. Some independent care facilities offer package tiers that include payment plans to help you budget any extra costs. Many insurances pay the full amount of all the care, while others do not. Some of these costs will arise out-of-pocket, so be prepared.

Do You Offer Daily Activities?

Activities that engage the residents is something that is sought after as a selling point for new admissions. Activities range from:

  • Outdoor walks and garden visits
  • Cards and games
  • Dessert socials
  • Wine and beverage hour
  • Arts and crafts

Each facility, including assisted living and skilled nursing homes, generally all have an activities director that spearheads these types of leisure interests.

Will He Have To Share A Room?

A huge question and concern is how much privacy your dad needs or wants. This depends on financial as well as medical needs and the overall assistance he requires. Skilled nursing rooms are often shared and it can be challenging to get a private room. Keep in mind that a semi-private or shared room may be offered at a significantly lower rate; this can help with overall costs. Assisted living units are often similar to small apartments, and are generally not shared.  Based on financial and medical need, you and your parent can decide on what he will be the most comfortable with.

While it may be a challenging transition for your parent when moving out of their home, it can also open up his life to more freedom and better daily care. Call a local nursing home or independent living facility such as Mayfair Village Retirement Community today to get your questions answered. 

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How To Keep A Loved One With Alzheimer’s Disease Safe In Your Home

If you live with a loved one with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease there are many things you can do to safeguard and care for them in your home. Many times a person with Alzheimer’s can no longer recognize common household objects or hazardous situations. With a little forethought and organization, you can make your home a safe refuge for your loved one so they do not become disoriented or anxious. Here are a few adjustments that you can make to your home to keep your loved one safe and comfortable: 

  • Simplify Your Home –  Clean up areas with clutter and lots of different objects on desks and shelves. Those areas could either be confusing to someone with dementia or they could be the source of endless fascination. Either way, it is best to put all papers, knickknacks, and other household objects away and out of sight to prevent accidents from happening. 
  • Remove Interior Door Locks – It is best to remove all interior door locks so that your loved one cannot lock themselves in a room where you cannot get to them. This is especially important on bathrooms and bedrooms in your home. 
  • Lock Up Cleaning Products and Chemicals – Put a lock on cupboards that contain potentially dangerous chemicals such as paint remover, turpentine, strong soaps, insecticides, and cleaning products. These products can be dangerous if spilled or used incorrectly. Also, put matches away in a locked cupboard or cabinet. Lock all of these things up so that you do not have to worry about your loved one getting into them. 
  • Childproof Electrical Outlets – Install childproof plugs on all electrical outlets that are not in current use. Also, secure all electrical cords that connect lamps and appliances with their respective electrical outlets by tacking them in place. Run electrical cords underneath carpeting to prevent your loved one from tripping over them and falling. 
  • Make Stairways Safe – Mark the edges of stair steps with brightly colored tape or paint so that your loved one can easily see them when walking in the house. Install a baby gate at the top and bottom of stairways so that your loved one will not try to use the stairs by themselves and possibly fall. 
  • Cushion All Furniture Corners – Put soft plastic furniture corners on all tables and shelf corners to keep your loved one from hurting themselves if they run into them. This extra padding can prevent serious injury and cuts on your loved one’s delicate skin. 
  • Post Helpful Signs – You can guide your loved one by posting a sign or two in your home to direct them to their room, the living room, or the kitchen, or keep them from hurting themselves. Use an image or drawing on the sign to illustrate your message visually. 

These are only a few of the small adjustments and changes that you can make to your home to keep your loved one safe. You can go through your own home and check out every nook and cranny with your loved one’s safety in mind. With a bit of planning and careful adjustments, you can keep your loved one safe and comfortable in your home for a long time. For more information on other living arrangements for your relative, consider contacting a company like Alta Ridge Communities.

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Senior Living Decisions-3 Strategies For When Siblings Disagree

One of the hardest decisions family caregivers face is deciding where their aging parents will live. While many seniors prefer to age in place, there often comes a time when developing health problems make it unsafe. For many adult children, one of the biggest surprises regarding senior living decisions is that the resistance comes not from their parents but from their siblings. Fortunately, there are some simple strategies you can use to get your siblings to agree upon the best living arrangements to protect your parent’s wellbeing.

Arrive Armed with Facts

Holding a family meeting is the best way to get all of the members of your family in one space so that you can talk about your loved one’s needs. Before the meeting, find out everything you can about the assisted living options in your area. Once your sibling knows more about the type of care your parent will receive, they may be more receptive to hearing your reasons why a new residence will be beneficial.

Take Them on a Tour

If your parent is looking forward to the freedom they will enjoy at a new home, then include them in the discussion with your siblings. If your brother or sister is still reluctant to move your parent, then take them for a visit to the prospective home and let them see the many amenities that are available. For many older adults, having assistance with their daily routine offers them the freedom to truly enjoy their senior years.

Talk to the Staff with Them

The staff members at assisted living facilities are experienced in talking to families about the benefits provided by their program. Invite your sibling to go speak with the home’s professionals before they refuse the option. Encourage your sibling to ask questions about the staff’s training, the types of care options offered and what daily life is like for the seniors. Seeing the facility in person and the happiness of the residents living there may be all it takes to help your sibling shift their perspective.

Senior living arrangements are one of the most common sources of family conflicts when it comes to caring for aging parents. Yet, choosing an assisted living facility, such as Grace Assisted Living, does not have to end in a sibling squabble. By being patient with your sibling and presenting them with the facts about senior living, you can help them come around to the idea that your parent will benefit from a higher level of care.

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Finding Your Place In Your New Retirement Community

Your old home is getting to be a burden, and you’ve decided that it’s time to move to one of the local assisted living facilities. Just like moving to a new neighborhood, you’ll soon meet new people and discover how you fit into the community. Here are some ways to be proactive and build your circle of new friends quickly.

Participate in Residents Meetings

Some facilities hold meetings between the residents and administration to discuss concerns and talk about future changes to the retirement center. This is a good way for you to learn who the most vocal and opinionated residents are and how the administration treats the residents.

Attend Classes at the Facility

Going to classes with other residents gives you a chance to meet many people who may share an interest with you. These are often good places to socialize so you’ll quickly make new acquaintances and friends. You’ll also learn a little about the interests of the other residents in your retirement community.

Offer to Teach a Class

You likely have some passion that you can share with others through a class. This will give you a different perspective of your neighbors as you observe their learning styles. Teaching a class also garners you the reputation of someone who contributes to the community as well as being a participant.

Attend or Start an Exercise Group

If you love to walk, jog or do some other form of exercise, join or start an exercise group. This is a great way to meet new people while keeping healthy. You’ll find that some people need the motivation of a group to get out and exercise, so if you start a group, you’ll be providing a healthy service to the community.

Share Your Expertise

If you developed skills in your career that would be helpful to the residents in the retirement center, then offer to hold one-on-one sessions or question and answer sessions. Tax tips, real estate and investment portfolio management advice will be helpful to many of your neighbors.

Help Orient New Residents

Volunteer to become a mentor to new residents coming to the facility. After a few weeks of being there yourself, you’ll have many tips to share as to how to meet people and find your place in the community. You’ll also be one of the first residents to meet the new people as they get settled in.

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A New Family Caregiver’s Guide To Challenging Dementia Behaviors

Navigating through the unfamiliar territory of a loved one’s dementia care plan can be challenging for caregivers who must find a way to strike a balance between soothing their loved one and keeping them safe. Due to the progression of the disease, it can also seem as though new behaviors appear as soon as the first ones were managed. For this reason, it is important for you to have a full understanding of the types of behaviors you can expect with each stage along with a set of strategies that can ensure your loved one receives the best possible care.

Minimize Forgetfulness

During the early stages of dementia, you may notice your loved one experience mild incidents of memory loss. They may forget appointments or skip taking their medications. Since many dementia patients are still living independently at this stage, memory aids can become increasingly important. Calendars, alarms and medication dispensers can all help you to remind your loved one of important events throughout their day.

Calm Negative Emotions

As your loved one encounters more challenges due to the progression of their dementia, you can also expect them to exhibit strong emotional responses at times. Frustration, anger and refusal to accept help with daily activities can all be hard to accept as a caregiver. Try to remember not to take these responses personally. Instead, focus on the underlying reason for the behavior. For example, a person who is agitated may be uncomfortable due to physical distress. Once this need is addressed, then their behavior will return to normal.

Manage Sundowning and Shadowing

Dementia caregivers frequently report that their loved ones experience periods of agitation and restlessness in the late evening hours. This is called sundowning. According to the Alzheimer’s Federation of America, this is more likely to start during the middle stages of the disease, and you can expect it to increase through the later stages. Shadowing may accompany sundowning, and you may find that you loved one follows you throughout their home asking repetitive questions and mimicking your movements. Try to keep your loved one active throughout the day, and create a soothing routine at night to reduce these behaviors.

Prevent Wandering

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 60 percent of people with dementia will wander, and approximately half of those who are not found within one day experience an injury or death. As with the other dementia-related behaviors, this risk becomes more prominent in the later stages of the disease. As a caregiver, you should be aware of the signals of potential wandering such as your loved one asking to go home. It can also be helpful to disguise exits or add locks in places your loved one cannot access.

Although these strategies can help you to care for your loved one during the earliest stages of the disease, it is important to understand that dementia patients often require specialized care as their dementia progresses. For this reason, memory care is one option to include in your long term plans since this can allow you to provide your loved one with professional supervision around the clock. By understanding how to guide your loved one through each stage, you can reduce your caregiver stress while ensuring your loved one’s safety and wellbeing. To learn more, contact a business like Gateway Living.

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Questions And Answers About Short-Term Skilled Nursing Home Care

If you’ve recently experienced an injury or a major illness requiring a hospital stay, you may be a little wary about returning home right away. This is especially true if you live alone or don’t have someone at home to help care for you. Fortunately, you do have an option – short-term skilled nursing care. If you choose this type of care, you will enter a nursing home for a short period of time. This home focuses on rehabilitation so that patients can resume their previous level of independence upon release. The following guide can help you better understand these facilities.

How is short-term rehab care paid for?

There are several options when it comes to paying for this sort of care. If you are on Medicare, your insurance will cover the rehab if you are admitted into the program within 30 days of a hospital stay that lasted at least 3 days. Medicare will only cover the first 20 days fully, and then they pay a portion of the costs for an additional 80 days. Supplemental health insurance or a long-term care plan may also provide coverage for rehab nursing care, or it may cover the portion that isn’t covered by the Medicare plan.

Do you have any privacy?

You may need to share a room, depending on your condition and the facility. Private rooms are sometimes available, but these may require an out-of-pocket charge or they may be reserved for those with conditions that require privacy, such as people who need middle-of-the-night care that would disturb a roommate. Shared rooms still afford some privacy, though. There is a curtain or panel that you can draw across the middle of the room for privacy. There are also usually gardens and reading rooms on-site where you can go if you want to be alone.

What is the schedule like?

All short-term facilities run off of a similar basic schedule. Meal times are set and served in a group dining room to encourage socializing between patients. There is also usually an in-room meal service available. In many cases, you order your meal selections a day in advance. Physical and occupational therapies are usually scheduled in the morning or early afternoon, between meal times. In the evening there may be social activities, such as book groups, movies, or game nights. 

Will you be on your own after release?

Upon release, you will be instructed about your at-home care. If your injury or illness has affected your level of independence, you may have a home visit scheduled to help you adjust your home to your new level of care. For example, someone may visit your home and recommend mobility aids, such as toilet seat lifts, and help you purchase or file claims for these devices. You may also have an occupational or physical therapist visit your home for a few in-home sessions. These sessions help you regain your strength and ability to perform your daily activities with minimal to no assistance. In some cases, the nursing care staff will prescribe certain exercises or therapies for you to continue at home.

To learn more about home-term nursing, get in touch with a care facility like The Village At Morrisons Cove.

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