Senior Care – Are you ready?
Sunny Finch RN Executive Director @ Mobile Nurse San Diego, PC Perhaps you’re thinking, “I’ve got my attorney, my Trust is set and I don’t have a thing to worry about.” Good for you…but are you ready when there is the sudden realization that you or a loved one requires reliable support? It’s normal to avoid these issues; denial is a great coping mechanism. But when you find yourself in the ER, or you receive a call saying a parent or Great Aunt Sue has been admitted with a senior issue that’s not likely to go away, what will you do? Where will you begin to look for appropriate care for yourself or a loved one? Who will you call? How will you determine what level of care to request?
Here’s a simple checklist to help you organize for such an event:
1. Assess your basic needs. What do you need? 2. Make a list of medical/surgical problems and needed assistance such as bathing, dressing, meal planning, help ambulating, transportation, medication reminders, etc. If planning for other than yourself, definitely don’t think that you know better about what the other person needs. Be sure to ask. 3. Call the people who care about you most: Family, Friends, Neighbors, to see if any can help with care that can be accomplished at home. 4. Call your social group, Church or Synagogue to get recommendations for outside care. Most will know of trusted, reputable companies to consider.
Now you have an idea of the level or kind of care needed, such as:
- In-Home Care
- Board & Care
- Assisted Living
- Skilled Nursing
- Hospice Care
And a list of good resources, for seeking the best solution. If you must seek care outside of the home environment, visit recommended companies, with your plan of care in hand. Keep in mind that every company will boast about offering “the Best Care on the Planet.”
Here are some thoughts to help you determine preparedness for excellent care:
Questions to ask:
- What is your Mission Statement? What is your facility about?
- Can I see your Policy and Procedure Manuals for Standards of Care?
- Who is your Medical Director? Will he/she co-ordinate with my personal physician?
- Can I see specific job descriptions for your Nursing Director and for Care Assistants?
- Do you have a statement that explains what each level of care includes?
- Do you provide your staff with ongoing in-service education?
- Is there a Social Worker on your staff?
- Is there a statement of Patient’s rights?
- Is there the option for Pastoral Care in place?
- How is your company insured? Are your employees bonded? (There are more than 400 companies in San Diego, and approximately 50 are insured).
- Is there a background check of each employee?
- Can I see your price list for each level of care?
Of course you may think of other questions that would be personally important, but here is the last important consideration: 1. When you have answers to these questions just say, “Thank you for your time today.” 2. Do not make up your mind immediately. Take some time to think before making your decision. Calling back in a day or so will be worth the delay. Be sure that you feel completely comfortable about those who will offer care to you or your loved one. Good Luck!