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    September 29, 2000 Choosing A Nursing Home By: Gail R Mitchell Many Caregivers have grown up thinking that they would never want to place their loved one into a nursing home. The decision is probably one of the hardest ones you will ever have to face in your lifetime. Unfortunately life doesn't always go the way you would like it to. You may have promised your loved one that you would not place them in a nursing home and you and you may even feel like a failure for no longer being able to care for them. However, when you are no longer able to care 24/7 because you may be burned out, your loved one has a chronic illness that does not require hospitalization but needs supervision and care, reality kicks in and the need may be upon you to make a choice. For some of you, there may not be a choice. Your loved one may be transferred from the hospital directly into a nursing home following an operation, sudden illness or an accident to convalesce. As people age, their needs are constantly undergoing change. The purpose of a nursing home is to help people care for themselves and to assist them until their final days. Skilled 24 hour nursing care and medical supervision is required usually when a patient is taken directly from a hospital because they are recovering from a surgery or major treatment. Custodial care means they are in need of care because they cannot live independently due to a serious chronic illness or a disability. They might not require skilled nursing and medical attention but they do need full time care and supervision. It is best to retrieve information on nursing home facilities by referrals or recommendations from physicians, home care professionals, geriatric care managers, social workers, hospital staff, friends, and clergy. You can also check through the Eldercare Locator, professional and consumer service organizations, your state or local health department and the department of aging. Nursing Homes Provide: ·Room and board, skilled nursing ·Medical services (nurses and doctors) ·Rehabilitation (therapies and counseling, such as speech, psychological and physical,) ·General supervision ·Provide opportunities for recreation and socialization Some questions you may ask yourself, your loved one and also family members who may be involved in this decision are as follows: ·Can I continue to provide the needs for our loved one on a 24-hour basis? ·Am I able to provide the quality of care they need? ·Am I jeopardizing my own health and/or the needs of my own family? ·In your current living arrangement does your loved one miss or want more social interaction? ·Does your loved one have a pet? ·Are they chronically ill where they require intensive care but not hospitalization? ·Do they require help with their daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, eating and using the toilet? ·What do your finances permit for? ·What does Medicare and their health insurance provide? ·What does their long-term care (LTC) insurance provide? ·Would my relationship with my loved one improve if they are placed in a facility? ·Have the patient's doctors and homecare professionals recommended your loved one be placed into a nursing home? Part ll Next week, the conclusion will be posted. It will include the following: ·Considerations to look for when choosing a nursing home ·Nursing Home Evaluation Form ·Additional Resources ·Nursing Home Residents' Bill Of Rights Richest Blessings, Gail We look forward to the opportunity of serving you. We welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions. Please feel free to contact us at: mailto:boomersint@aol.com or mailto:grm4love@care-givers.com

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