Category Archives: Nursing Homes

Assisted Living Facility Vs. Nursing Home? Which Should You Choose?

When choosing between an assisted living facility and a nursing home, consult your senior to make sure that they understand the differences. Don’t try to unilaterally or preemptively make the decision for them. Unless a senior is senile, he or she should have a voice in selecting.

Assisted Living Facilities Versus Nursing Homes: What Is The Difference?

Most people think the two terms are synonymous, but they’re not. An assisted living facility gives the senior his or her own apartment, bathroom, and kitchen. This is more akin to real living, except that the person receives assistance for various activities and chores. There might be:
  • Light housekeeping
  • Prepared meals
  • The security of a dedicated support staff in the event of an emergency

Because the patrons are more like normal people in terms of their lifestyles, it is nicer and easier to make friends with the other residents. Assisted living is more for people who are not in dire need of health services: those who can live on their own but need a little help. These assisted living facilities allow the person to remain as independent as possible but still get a level of care that would be unavailable or unaffordable at a home. The senior gets the help he/she needs without giving up freedom.

Nursing homes are different because they provide a custodial care paired with a high level of medical care. They offer help with bathing, feeding, and dressing and also with medication. They are a senior’s best friend if the person is frail and old and cannot live at an assisted living facility. Offering the highest level of quality care outside of a hospital, they are more geared toward medical care and health issues for the sick and elderly.

What Kinds Of Services Do An Assisted Living Facility Provide?

  • Three communal meals a day
  • Help with eating, bathing, and dressing,
  • Home maintenance, transportation, security, emergency call system
  • Exercise programs and medication help.

Who Is Eligible To Move Into An Assisted Living Facility?

For some people, managing a house is too burdensome. For them, it is better to move into an assisted living facility. However, as patients develop Alzheimer’s or other senility or dementia, they may find it troublesome to live in an assisted living facility. State regulators and lawmakers have to decide who is able to live in an assisted facility versus a nursing home, and sometimes, medical needs might exceed the capacity of what an assisted living facility is able to provide.
Author Bio:

Megan writes for Assisted Living Today, a leading source of information on a range of topics related to elderly living and retirement care and facilities that can also help to connect you with the perfect care home.

The Rise of the Retirement Village

For the first time in history there are more people over the age of 65 in the UK than there are school children, and not only are people living longer but they are healthier and living better as well. This is an issue that has been in the news recently with the government’s proposals to increase the age of retirement and alter pension policies, and also with reports into how care homes are run and the quality of care found within them.
For many, the prospect of retirement and becoming elderly is one of grave concern, and it can also be of concern to their family and loved ones. There are many elderly people who require constant care, either from professionals or loved ones, due to medical or degenerative conditions, but there are also many who don’t need such permanent assistance, they just need someone to ‘keep an eye on them’.
Sadly this might not be as easy as it sounds as communities are not as close and caring as they once were, families can be scattered across the country, and sons and daughters may have their own little ones that have their own demands on time and resources. For some, a retirement home becomes an increasingly more viable but still unattractive option. After all, retirement homes don’t have the happiest of images people sitting in the same chair in a community room for 12 hours a day with no visitors and nothing but daytime TV for entertainment. However, retirement villages are changing the perspective of the traditional retirement home.
Retirement villages are built with three principles in mind: Housing, community and access to care. The aim of a retirement village is, of course, to provide an elderly person with a home, but unlike the traditional care home in which a person will get a room, in a village they can have either their own apartment or even a small bungalow. The key point is that they have their own front door.
Retirement villages exist to create a close community by providing central facilities such as restaurants and clubrooms, the provision of sports equipment, internet access, libraries and various other amenities.
They also aim to provide care for all residents that are appropriate to an individual’s needs. Therefore if you are a spritely 65yr old that still enjoys heading to the golf course three times a week and only requires someone to clean your bungalow once a week, that’s what you get. But if you’re needs are greater and these can range from help with tasks due to limited mobility, assistance with medication, to full time care for people living with dementia or convalescence and respite care then the care services of a retirement village could provide whatever you need.
The aim of a village is to provide a person with as much independence as that person wants and can cope with while providing opportunities and for enjoyment, leisure and wellbeing.
So far, we have talked about how great retirement villages are, but are there any downsides? There are two major ones: the first is that compared to the traditional retirement home, there are not many villages in the UK. According to ARVOUK (The Association of Retirement Village Operators UK) there are no villages in Wales or Scotland. They are on the increase as knowledge of their existence and popularity of an active retirement life increases, but for the time being they number in the tens, rather than hundreds or thousands.
Two reasons for low numbers are that a village requires a large space and significant investment to develop, and space is not as easy to come by as in, say, the USA, where retirement villages started and are very popular.
The second downside to being in a retirement village is cost. Prices will, of course, vary from company to company, village to village and depend on the type of accommodation required, but it’s safe to say they are not cheap by ‘normal’ housing conditions. You could easily spend over £250,000 for an apartment or bungalow, and then there are the on-going monthly fixed charges that will go towards covering things like maintenance of buildings and grounds.
The companies that run the villages will remind you of the facilities they provide not just the leisure amenities but nursing, 24-hour emergency response and various others too. Therefore you may want to do some serious research into a retirement village and decide if you are likely to make use of everything they have on offer and get a breakdown of all costs as although you may be able to afford the initial outgoings from selling your own home, continuing costs, especially if they may increase, could become crippling to your finances.This article was written by Rob Powell from Confused.com who offer over 60 life insurance.

Explaining the Importance of Nurse Call Systems in Care Homes

When we think of placing our loved ones and relatives into care homes, the first thought that we inevitably have is that of their safety. This is human nature and most people will invariably check the sorts of provisions and equipment that a nursing home has in place to help ensure the safety and comfort of the residents. One of the most important pieces of apparatus for a care home to have is that of nurse call systems as these are vital in raising the alarm when residents are in distress, feeling unwell and require assistance.
It goes without saying that residents of care homes will want their independence but it is also important that they can get the assistant that they require immediately if they suffer a fall or need some other form of medical assistance. Wireless nurse call systems are increasingly being deployed throughout care homes all over the world and they are helping to radically improve the standard of care in nursing homes an issue that regularly receives much, often negative, media attention.
It is fair to say, however, if you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the care home that you have chosen for your loved ones has good quality safety equipment, such as the latest nurse call systems, this will certainly help to put your mind at rest regarding their safety and the quality of care that they are receiving. Technology is increasingly becoming part and parcel of the nursing home environment and for good reason as it has the capacity to improve the standard of living and safety of the elderly residents that are in their care. When it comes to nurse call systems, it is important that the care home in question opts for a versatile solution that has the capacity to work effectively in the type of environment they have in their facility.

Why Nurse Call Systems are so Vital

Nurse call systems can be installed throughout care homes predominantly in areas where the residents could potentially come to harm but not in the immediate view of the staff. For example, most good quality nursing homes will ensure that each of the resident’s bathrooms has a nurse call system installed in it because, if they happen to fall in the bathroom, they will be able to raise the alarm and summon assistance from a suitable nurse at the facility who will respond immediately to the alarm being activated.
As technology improves so too does the usefulness of nurse call systems. For example, the majority of this type of apparatus on the market today is wireless which makes it even more versatile and easy to implement into a nursing environment, regardless of the size of the facility. It is crucial that a care home works alongside a reputable supplier of safety equipment because there can be no margin for error when it comes to this type of apparatus and this is particularly true when it comes to things like nurse call systems which, in some cases, could very well be the difference between life and death.
The quality of care that nurses are capable of supplying in nursing facilities will be largely reliant on the calibre of technology that they have to assist them. Few pieces of safety apparatus will be more beneficial in assisting nurses in providing a quick and timely response in cases of emergency than that of wireless nurse call systems and it is little surprise that more and more facilities are now seeing this type of technology as imperative within their facility.
When the time comes to place aged relatives into care, it will also be something that can be difficult to come to terms with but if you know that the nursing home that you have chosen does all it can to help ensure the safety, security and happiness of their residents, then this decision invariably becomes that bit easier.
Regardless of which care home facility you opt for, you should always do your utmost to make sure that it has the requisite safety procedures in place to take the best care of the residents that they possibly can. Obviously, there are many different elements which will contribute to this, such as ensuring that they have nurse call systems installed, but the best way to get the peace of mind that you seek is to speak with the facility owners and establish the type of care that they are dedicated to providing.

Top Tips for Choosing Dementia Care Homes

Selecting a care facility for elderly loved ones can be a difficult process. It involves a lot of decisions and choices that most people would hope to never have to make particularly when the dilemma involves a relative diagnosed with dementia. Unfortunately, home care for a loved one with dementia can become physically and emotionally difficult as the disease becomes more and more unmanageable. However, with some preparation and research, an informed choice can be made that will allow our loved ones to be cared for properly.

Considering the Severity

Because dementia begins mildly and increases in severity over time, it is often necessary to choose a variety of care options that our aging relative can progress through. It is also important to consider this ahead of time so as not to end up choosing a facility in a moment of crisis.

  • Assisted nursing homes often have an area where residents with dementia are given care away from those who are better able to get around and take care of themselves.
  • Care homes with specialized nursing can be necessary when a person with dementia needs care 24 hours a day.
  • When sufferers cannot care for themselves at all, hospice care may become a necessity. Patients can access hospice care in their own home, the home of a loved one, or in a care facility setting. This level of care allows dementia sufferers to continue to keep their dignity and stay comfortable.

Research the Data

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid annually compile data on 15,000+ care and nursing homes throughout the country. Homes are given between one and five stars based on health inspection data, staff, general wellbeing of residents and other such quality measures.

Compiled data and statistics such as these can be a great place to begin researching – but it’s worth bearing in mind that ranking and inspections have their limits and only reflect the quality of the facilities over certain durations of time. In addition, the system allows only 10 per cent of graded homes to earn a five-star rating, meaning a less expensive four-star nursing home that narrowly missed the percentage quota might be just as good, if not better, than another five-star home.

Tour the Facility

When considering a care facility, it is always best to insist on a tour. Should an establishment refuse to allow a tour of the facility and grounds, it may be wise to continue looking elsewhere. The outside of a facility should be clean and inviting, and the needs of visitors who are physically challenged should be met without having to wait for someone to notice or be called.

Ask about staff members and how much experience and education are required for varying jobs. It should be permitted to tour the available living and activity areas. Ensure that there are safety features, including disabled access and emergency response equipment. The entire facility should be clean and well-maintained there should be no broken or damaged equipment, including chairs or handrails.

Talk to the Staff

This will allow a decent impression of how relaxed and friendly the facility’s atmosphere is. Ask how long each person has had his or her job with the establishment, as a high turnover could indicate potentially low standards of patient care or even under qualified employees. Longevity of staff members translates to familiarity with residents of the facility as well as caregivers being able to detect small changes in the condition of a patient. When conversing with managers and supervisors, they should be able to answer all questions without trying to get around them.

Ask About Services

When choosing a care facility for a loved one with dementia, it’s important to ask about services and care levels. Ask about meals and whether patients can choose what they receive to eat, as well as telephone and television access. Sometimes these amenities are included in the basic cost, but do make sure of this beforehand. There should be a recreational program for facility residents of many abilities, which allows residents to participate or opt out if they choose to.

Consult the State Ombudsman

Every state in the U.S. has a long-term care ombudsman, serving as an authority on long-term care homes and an advocate of nursing home residents. Ombudsmen are qualified to give information on health inspections, staffing, quality of care and any significant changes in a given care home. Ombudsmen can be found through the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center.