Elder Care

Articles courtesy of Steven Smith

Elder Care - All The Information You Need On Elder Care

5 Myths You Should Know Before Choosing Elder Care


Elder Care

Myths associated with selecting quality nursing home care suggest quick and easy ways to identify quality care. In fact, relying on these myths can lead to disastrous results. I have identified a few of the most common myths in hopes of helping you avoid some of the problems commonly found in many nursing homes.

1. The Smell Test

You've heard it repeatedly: "The best way to determine the quality of care a nursing home provides is to be alert to bad odors when you visit the home."

It seldom, if ever, works. Why? Nursing home administrators have heard the very same advice. As a result, they are particularly sensitive to unpleasant odors in any area that might receive visitors. Almost all will do their best to remove offensive odors as quickly as possible, even when it means avoiding their primary responsibility to their residents.

2. The Personal Recommendation

Recently, I heard a guest on a radio talk show state that the very best way to find great nursing home care is to get recommendations from a friend. Like other myths, there is a grain of truth here, but you must check whether your friend has had extensive interactions with the nursing home recommended. Often that is not the case.

Last weekend I dealt with an emergency call from Jim, a friend who had placed his mother in a nursing home recommended by a friend. Although she was recuperating from a stroke, no nurse or aide checked on her condition for more than 14 hours. Jim discovered her in the morning with many cuts and bruises, her bedsheets soaked in blood. He was astonished that anyone would recommend such a poor care facility.

"My friend said her grandmother was in this particular nursing home," he reported. "So, I thought it would be good care."

"How often does your friend visit her grandmother?" I asked him.

"I didn't think to ask," he responded.

"And did you check the latest survey for that nursing home?"

"No," he answered. "I thought a personal recommendation was all I needed."

Jim's mother is now back in an area hospital. No one knows yet how much damage this experience caused to her recovery.

3. You Get What You Pay For

Nowhere is this statement less applicable than in nursing home care. In fact, I'd replace it with another shibboleth -- "Buyer Beware." Our own research, encompassing more than 6000 nursing homes and more than 100 assisted living facilities shows no relationship between cost and quality of care. You may find quality care in an expensive facility, or you may not! Similarly, the fact that a facility is low-cost does not indicate whether you'll get poor, average, or quality care. You have to do your homework. Relying on price as the sole indicator of quality care can lead to disastrous results.

4. Adequate Staffing Equals Quality Care

A recent report by the Senate's Special Committee on Aging indicated that quality care for a single nursing home resident requires more than three hours each day of nursing and nursing aide time. However, statistical analysis of the latest federal database on nursing home deficiencies indicates no relationship between quality of care and staffing levels. This finding is consistent with a number of university studies.

What should you look for, then, in nursing home staffing levels?

There is a level below which nursing homes are so understaffed that quality care can not be provided. I'd suggest that you not consider any home providing a level less than two hours per day per resident. For levels greater than this, I'd focus not on the number of hours available for care but on the motivation of staff available to provide care. Those who are motivated to care for the elderly will do so. Those who are motivated only by a paycheck will probably provide shoddy care regardless of their numbers.

5. A Well-Known Chain Will Provide the Best Care

This is another myth that can lead to tragedy. Sometimes, well- known companies do provide top-quality care. In other instances, however, a quick review of newspapers and magazines will show you other companies with long records of legal troubles stemming from accusations of neglect and abuse. One such company has been sued simultaneously by several states' attorneys general.

How will you know? The company is not likely to tell you, so you won't know unless you take the time to look into the company's historical performance.

There you have it -- 5 myths exploded!

What does work? There is no substitute for your own personal investigation. With a little research, with personal visits to nursing homes before you sign anything, you can avoid many of the difficulties that have come to those who relied on such myths.

About The Author

Copyright 2002, Phyllis Staff. Phyllis Staff, Ph.D. - Phyllis Staff is an experimental psychologist and the CEO of The Best Is Yet.Net, and the author of How to Find Great Senior Housing: A Roadmap for Elders and Those Who Love Them (2002).

pando19@direcway.com







Car Insurance Rates   |   Dental Insurance   |   Health Insurance   |   Home Owner Insurance   |   Life Insurance Quote



| 1 | 2 |











Exercise Walking For Seniors: Preventing Foot Problems
Exercise has a very important role in the general health and the quality of life of everyone, but especially in seniors. Seniors who walk tend to look younger, sleep more soundly and have fewer visits to the doctor. Walking for 30 to 60 minutes four to six days a week will help improve osteoarthritis and decrease the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Walking is the top recreational sport for seniors.Although many seniors may be scared to start an exercise program because they are worried about injury, the health benefits of exercise outweigh the risk of injury. Walking is considered one of the best forms of exercise because it's safe, cheap and easy. Unfortunately, foot problems can p...(related: Elder Care)


Nursing Home Staffing Levels: How Much Is Enough?
During the week of February 17, 2002, headlines screamed the news - more than 92% of US nursing homes fail to have an adequate number of staff to provide quality care for elderly residents. Newspapers and radio prog...(related: Elder Care)


As The Baby Boomers Age
Many employees today are calling in sick - not to care for themselves or their children, but to care for their aging parents. Baby boomers are rapidly moving into the role of caregivers for their parents, but with a few extra challenges due to the changing face of our workforce. Nearly 25% of U.S. households are now involved in caring for a senior family member, spending an average of 20 hours a week in caregiving services. Nearly 65% of those individuals providing the caregiving are employed outside of the home. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, approximately 15 million days of work per year are lost due to these circumstances. These numbers are for...(related: Elder Care)


Strategies On Paying For Nursing Home Care And Medicaid
The decision to place your loved one into a nursing home is anextremely difficult decision, often causing much guilt for thecaregiver. It is a very emotional decision for most clients we see andmost are under a certain amount of stress, often great, when facing whatthey consider to be a drastic course of action.I counsel ourcaregiver clients to get beyond the guilt as quickly as they can,because the situation their loved one is in is not the caregiver'sfault. And besides, the longer you remain under this stress, the lesshealthy you eat, or you eat way too much, the less you sleep, and somestart drinking (my own mother started this late at night after she gotmy dad settled in ...(related: Elder Care)


Caregiving Across The Miles?tips For Successful Long Distance Caregiving
Caring for a parent or a loved one is a difficult job. Your duties as a caregiver become increasingly difficult as the miles increase between you and your loved one. The following are a few helpful tips in order to plan ahead in the event your loved one needs your help, ...(related: Elder Care)




Google




Prepare To Make Long-term Care Choices
Several months ago, I was coming out of a gas station when a woman stopped me and asked me what I did for a living. On the back of our van is our web address. On the side wing windows is "Free Senior Home Placement." I explained to her that I am a Long Term Care Consultant. She breathed a sigh of relief. "Great I need you!"She went on to explain that her mother had fallen and was in the hosp...(related: Elder Care)

Scaling Down (almost) Painlessly
Moving to a smaller house or apartment in a retirement community almost always involves a certain degree of trauma, both for the elder who's moving and for family members. However, by planning ahead you can reduce the discomfort involved and turn what might well become a nightmare into a pleasant event.Begin by Planning for the MoveWhere is the elder moving? Go to the actual house or apartment with tape measure, pad a...(related: Elder Care)

Senior Living: 5 Ways To Help Reduce The Risk Of Falling
Every year we hear stories of seniors falling, ending up in hospitals and never fully recovering. Unfortunately, these falls often result in death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury related deaths for seniors age 65 and older. Every year, approximately 35% to 40% of seniors over 65 years of age fall at least one time. The following are five ways to help reduce the risk of you or a loved one from falling:1. Keep Indoor Pathways Safe- Remove throw rugs or use double sided tape to prevent rugs ...(related: Elder Care)

site-map - Copyright © 2006 | Contact Webmaster | All Rights Reserved. | Elder Care