Who can give you advice when you are admitting a loved one to a nursing home? Most people turn to the doctor in charge of their loved one’s care. But a study published in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine suggests that this trusted source may not have the answers you need.
The study found that internal medicine residents scored below 50% on a test regarding nursing homes, known as skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in medical lingo. Even after training, they were still confused about what exactly a skilled nursing facility is, what services it provides, and how it is staffed.
The study’s authors conclude that, “efforts to improve this knowledge are needed to assure proper triage of patients and safe transitions to the SNF.”
As is usually true when making medical decisions, the family should be as involved as possible when transitioning a family member to a skilled nursing facility, rather than leaving all decisions to medical personnel.
The American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) has issued the following guidelines to help families make this transfer easier and safer.
1. Consider the patient’s preferences
Too often, discussions regarding a patient exclude the patient. Be sure to include your loved one in discussions regarding their care. This includes discussion — and documentation — of their preferences regarding end-of-life care.
2. Educate the family
Whenever decisions are being made, the family should be sure they understand the reasons for them. For example, why is an SNF being suggested, rather than a rehab facility?
3. Ensure prompt communication about medication
Whenever someone is being moved from one facility to another, there is a risk that important information, particularly information about medications, is not communicated thoroughly and promptly. Have a comprehensive list of conditions and medications, and make sure it is communicated to everyone who will be caring for your loved one.
At Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, our care programs are designed specifically to meet the unique needs and interests of seniors and long-term care patients. We emphasize restorative care, maximizing each patient’s potential to regain and maintain function and mobility.
We foster an environment that is cheerful and enthusiastic, so residents truly relish and appreciate life.
Our outstanding Social Services team works hard to ensure that every resident thrives socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
We promote a culture of independence, crucial for emotional, social, and physical health. Residents are encouraged to choose their activity and meal preferences, and to perform tasks and activities as self-sufficiently as possible.
We carefully select, train and re-train our wonderful caregivers, who are especially sensitive to the needs of our long-term care patients. They treat residents with love, compassion, and dignity.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.