Assisted-Living to Nursing Home?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Eve G., Sep 26, 2006.

  1. Eve G.

    Eve G. Guest

    Mom is slowly but steadily going downhill mentally. Physically (with her family history) she could live another five years. My sister and I have her in a very good ($$) assisted-living home, with a private-duty nurse ($$$). The money won't last forever, and I'm also guessing that within six months to a year, she'll be in too bad shape for assisted-living. So as much as we hate the thought, we have to plan ahead for a nursing home.

    I left a message with a local geriatric caseworker. I know these things differ from Britain and the US, and even state to state, within the US. But do any of you have any tips for me? Warnings? Things to ask? Input?

    Thanks . . .
     
  2. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Eve

    We have just (yesturday) moved mum into a NH. A very difficult decision to come to, but it was being selfish of us putting it off, I have to say though, it is the MOST difficult thing we have EVER done.

    I am sure there are more experienced friends on TP than me, but the only advice I can give you on choosing the right home is: ( and of course things may differ greatly in the US).

    We looked for NH's that were Residential / EMI Unit attached. The thought process being that our mum, at present, isn't in need of an EMI, she is, shall we say, not quite there yet. However, what we didn't want was another huge move to a toally different place when the only alternative was EMI, so where she is now, it will simply be a move upstairs to the EMI Unit from the residential part where she is now.

    Having got the list of possibles together, I researched on the internet the 'offical' reports following inspections that are required in the UK. This did weed out quite a few (there were a number that needed a lot of work in terms of following the guidelines. So these were crossed off the list.

    The next thing we did was visited NH's totally unannounced. A couple were quite 'phased' that we didn't have an appointment, hummm made me a tat suspicious!!

    In short we went with the one that was totally relaxed about our unannounced visit (we did make a point of avoiding meal times). They were quite happy for us to talk to residents / visiting family members on our own.

    We asked staff members how long they had worked there (again we saw one NH where the staff turnover seemed a tat excessive).

    Daily activities are arranged for residents. They actively encouraged us to take all of mums bedroom / any another other furniture we could cram into her bedroom. All rooms are en suite. Excellent bathroom facilites in terms of hoists etc. Get up / go to bed times are toally relaxed. A good system is in place so that laundry doesn't go missing. Staff didn't talk to residents in a patronising way. A good choice of food available for each meal. Tea / coffee freely available throughout the day. Fluid and food intake monitored carefully. Good communication system between residents / family and staff. Medication given and monitored.

    Optician and dental care from appropriate professionals arranged. Hair dresser goes in once a week. We noticed that one resident had plonked himself in the nurses office and gone to sleep, nobody seemed phased by this. When we took mum for a visit, she was treated with friendly respect.

    Bottom line is, I think a lot is down to your gut instinct on how well your loved one will be cared for, importantly is dignity preserved at all times, is the atmosphere a caring and a happy one.

    Good luck, it isnt easy, not just the practical, but the emotional side of things for your loved one, and you too.

    Hope this helps in some way.
    Cate
     
  3. Eve G.

    Eve G. Guest

    Thanks, Cate, some good advice. I didn't know some nursing homes would allow her furniture in! I will certainly visit those we are considering.

    I'm concerned about her not having to move again, when her health and/or money run out. So we'd need one with full-care, and that takes Medicaid. I understand the waiting lists are quite long, which is why I am starting to look now, before she needs it.

    I had damn well better take after my father's side of the family, and have the common sense to keel over dead of a heart attack at 70 . . .
     
  4. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    Know what you mean Eve, my dad did the same God bless him, I bet he's looking down right now having the last laugh.
    You take care, and good luck.
    Love
    Cate
     
  5. kezzer

    kezzer Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    3
    Bolton
    Hi i work for BUPA who have teamed up with the alzhiemers society and you will find that the homes are very good with trained staff on all the EMI units and are fully equipped with all the needs of each individual client take a look at there website. I can understand that it has got to be the hardest desicion to make for a loved one but it does get to the stage where it is the best thing to do however hard it may be.
     
  6. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    I think Eve is in the USA so a BUPA home is therefore not an option.

    What do you mean exactly when you say that BUPA have 'teamed up' with the Alzheimers Society?
     
  7. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    Cate's reply is absolutely spot on. Is there an equivalent inspection body in the US to our Commission for Social Care Inspection? (CSCI). CSCI carry out the inspections of care and nursing homes, register the homes and publish their reports so that people can, as Cate says, check out the options as reasonably well-informed consumers. Go to www.csci.gov.uk to see how it works, read reports etc.

    I think it would be wise to try and take some sort of independent advice before reaching a decision. BUPA is not the only player in the market. See also http://www.cieh.org/ehn/legal/2006/september/articles/death_in_bupa_home_‘avoidable’.htm
     
  8. Eve G.

    Eve G. Guest

    There are gov't. agencies that monitor nursing homes, but they don't really tell you a lot of what you want to know: which ones have the best staff and decor, which ones might allow her cat and some of her furniture; which ones work with which doctors (no, not "witch doctors!"), etc. I'm trying to find a local ombudsman in Mom's neighborhood, but the one who was recommended to me simply mailed my sister and I a magazine for the elderly, which I could have picked up at a newsstand!

    My sister is going to try and delicately bring this up with the head of the assisted-living home. We don't want to put any ideas in her head that Mom might be moving soon, but maybe she can tell us where Mom might go "in the distant future."
     
  9. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    Eve, I have private messaged you my thoughts on your last entry here. Deborah
     

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