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Eight Nursing Home Secrets You Should Know - Seniors Long Term Care & Nursing Home Issues - SeniorSite.com
Eight Nursing Home Secrets You Should Know - Seniors Long Term Care & Nursing Home Issues - SeniorSite.com
Eight Nursing Home Secrets You Should Know
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Dr Jodee Beth Graifman Meddy DO, Dubois, PA Dr. Jodee Graifman Meddy, DO, MS, LNHA

Co-founder of SeniorSite.com.
Dr. Jodee Meddy is a nationally acclaimed Doctor, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and an expert on Long Term / Extended Care issues and Nursing Homes.

Eight Nursing Home Secrets You Should Know  - SeniorSite.com Eight Nursing Home Secrets You Should Know

There’s a quiet revolution going on in nursing homes across the country, one that will affect millions of Americans for the better. This year, over 2 million Americans will live as residents in nursing homes for recuperative or rehabilitative care. But the actual number of people touched by nursing homes is far greater, including residents, along with their families, friends and support groups – effecting tens of millions.

1. The Placement Process: Medical Eligibility for Nursing Home Admission
The first step in the selection of a nursing home is to establish the medical and nursing needs of the individual to see if he or she medically qualifies for admission to a nursing home in New York State.

To determine an individual's medical eligibility, a Patient Review Instrument and Screening Instrument--generally referred to as the PRI and Screen--must be completed according to the state's Department of Health requirements.

The PRI measures an individual's ability to perform activities of daily living such as eating, dressing, bathing, transferring from bed to chair and vice versa, and toileting, as well as the level of nursing care needed.
The Screen, based on this assessment and other social factors including whether or not the individual has access to help from family or friends in the community determines if the individual can be cared for in the community with home care services or is in need of nursing home care.
 

2. How to get the PRI and Screen Completed

If the individual is to be transferred directly from the hospital to the nursing home, hospital social service or discharge planning staff will help you obtain a completed PRI and Screen.

It is important to work with the hospital social worker as the nursing home process unfolds. If the individual is at home, you must call a certified home health agency that has staff qualified to complete the PRI and Screen. During the home visit, it is essential for the caregiver to be present during the evaluation to help provide a realistic picture of the individual's medical, nursing, and social needs and to help ensure that the assessment is comprehensive.

3. It’s all about change.

No one likes change, but nursing homes are undergoing a staggering number of changes to improve the quality of care and resident life. This approach is called "culture change" and is designed to make nursing homes feel more like home, and less like a hospital, by providing residents with a variety of choices in their schedules to make their days less routine. Examples of culture change include the Pioneer Movement, The Eden Alternative and Wellspring Program. “These programs attempt to ‘deinstitutionalize’ the facility by personalizing the environment and care process whether that means keeping pets, moving in home furnishings or taking into account the diversity of resident populations”, says Jodee Meddy. Being prepared for these changes is important for residents and their families; Jodee Meddy recommends that residents and caregivers discuss how to implement a strategy with the facility that will make the transition comfortable and successful.

4. Meeting residents’ needs is job one.

Professional nursing home caregivers recognize the importance of person-centered or resident-centric care, building new systems to elicit and meet residents’ choices, providing security and care, and supporting their personal growth. Residents and caregivers should document and share choices and needs with nursing home professional staff. Jodee Meddy recommends active participation in the care planning process by residents and their families as a key ingredient to meeting the resident’s needs.

5. It’s not your grandmother’s nursing home any longer.

Many people are surprised to discover that traditional nursing homes for older residents also provide care for younger adults, for rehabilitative care or sub acute care following an accident, surgery or serious illness. Jodee Meddy recommends that residents and caregivers learn about the nursing home’s specific healthcare practice areas and specializations, to assure they choose the facility that best meets their needs.

6. You may actually like the food.

Contrary to popular belief, not all institutional food is, well, institutional –some nursing homes cater to residents’ cultural palettes. Kosher, Asian and Indian cuisine are just a few of the menu variations to be found in some nursing homes. In fact, one Southern nursing home recently added hot sauce to the menu after residents complained about their bland diets. Jodee Meddy recommends inquiring about the menu options available at any facility you are considering.

7. You do have a say.

Residents and their families are actively involved in improvements to their treatments and environments, and discussing improvements in the quality of care and quality of life with administrators and caregivers is very appropriate – as those residents in the southern nursing home found, nursing homes are listening. In fact, resident councils are a federal requirement, and some states even require the creation of a family council as well. Jodee Meddy recommends that you ask about resident and family councils and how they interact with the facility – perhaps you can set up some time to speak with a council member.

8. You can shop around.

This being the “Internet Age,” there are a number of terrific resources available for learning about long-term healthcare options and finding nursing homes. Jodee Meddy recommends shopping around to ensure that the prospective resident gets the most appropriate services and the best value.

Jodee Meddy contends that the industry is evolving with terms such as specialization, diversity, service and value coming to the forefront. “So much information is accessible online” says Jodee Meddy, “Within minutes you can now find and contact nursing homes in a way never possible before.” Summing up her six recommendations by noting that the industry is changing, Jodee Meddy states “We don’t ‘put’ people in nursing homes anymore, it’s a new world for this industry, a world that will continually evolve. The key to a successful match is understanding the choices and doing your homework to find the right facility.”







Eight Nursing Home Secrets You Should Know
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