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BT Neil Consulting‚Äč

Miss Co Says

{An ongoing series of informational blogs from a Social Worker perspective about different experiences in a nursing facility}

September 20, 2021

BEST INSURANCE TO HAVE IF GOING INTO A NURSING FACILITY

It seems logical to go with the insurance that offers little to no monthly premium which is great while at home. If you or someone you know ever needs to go into a skilled nursing facility the best insurance to have is Traditional Medicare.

Miss Co Says...

September 21, 2021

ADVANCE DIRECTIVES ARE NECESSARY

I know it's not the easiest conversation to have but having a Living Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney and/or General Power of Attorney really helps to decrease family squabbles. A loved one being sick or on their death bed is not the time to be fussing over their money, belongings and medical wishes. 

Miss Co Says...

September 22, 2021

IT'S REHAB NOT PRISON

Don't delay going into a nursing facility for short term rehab because  you fear that you will have to stay forever. A nursing facility by law can't keep anyone from returning home. You have a right to ask to be discharged.

Miss Co Says...

October 5, 2021

CAREGIVER BURNOUT IS REAL

Nursing home placement is not for everyone just like staying at home is not the best for everyone. Some families choose to take on the burden of caring for a loved one at home for as long as they can even when it becomes mentally, emotionally, financially and physically overwhelming. I say burden not because it's a bad thing to care for a loved one but it can be a hard thing, especially when there is little to no support from other family members. Nursing homes help to relieve the burden. Nursing homes are not perfect but they are equipped with qualified staff that can provide the needed 24/7 supervision and care. Placing "mama" or "daddy" in a nursing home does not mean you don't love them, it just means you love them enough to get help in caring for them.

Miss Co Says...

October 6, 2021

ALL NURSING HOMES ARE NOT BAD

Most people seem to think that "all nursing homes are bad" but that is not the case. True, there are some nursing homes that don't meet the standards of proper nursing home care but that is not the case for all nursing homes. As previously referenced in another blog, nursing homes are not perfect, meaning the staff will make mistakes but you must know that the majority of the staff do actually care for the residents. Unfortunately, one bad apple do sometimes spoil a bunch. Consider this for a moment, just because a staff member is not jumping through hoops for a very demanding, overbearing family member doesn't mean they don't care or that they would mistreat that person's loved one. In spite of the negative perception that most have of nursing homes, the staff sometimes care more than family members do about the well-being of the residents.

Miss Co Says...

October 21, 2021

GUILTY BY ADMISSIONS

A lot of people feel guilty about placing their loved one into a nursing facility. The guilt mostly comes from feelings of not being able or not wanting to care for them in a home setting. It's a tough decision, true, and some people really would care for their loved one in a home setting if they could but that is not the case for all but to each his own. Regardless of the reason for a guilty conscience please don't make the nursing home staff do what you wouldn't do at home. Yes nursing home staff have a job to do, they are to provide quality care but don't get beside yourself by making a bunch of trivial requests because you're feeling guilty about leaving "mama" or "daddy" in a facility. Most requests made by some family members is not something they would do or were doing while their loved one was at home. You want the staff to go over and beyond but were you? And even if you were the one going over and beyond when they were home, guess what, they aren't home anymore. They are in a facility which means it's not just about them. The staff cannot cater to them as you would because they have other residents to tend to; it would be nice if nursing facilities could provide each resident with their own CNA but of course that is not the case.

Miss Co Says...

November 2, 2021

PAY ATTENTION

If staff don't do anything else in a nursing home, they must pay attention. Pay attention to the residents at all times. Pay attention to a change in their condition, behavior, eating habits, weight etc. Those with cognitive impairment and are ambulatory need more attention. Truth is no matter how much attention and supervision staff provide for a resident, unfortunately things will still happen. The key thing is trying to prevent incidents from happening before they happen but knowing what to do if or when it happens and following protocol promptly to ensure that the matter is quickly addressed, resolved and never happens again if at all possible. There are some incidents that should never happen in a nursing home setting.  Observation means paying attention, documentation means paying attention and making note of what is seen and preparation is paying attention to the best way to handle an incident, come up with a plan and following through with the plan if or when the incident happens. In addition, get other staff involved that provide direct care on a daily basis, involve the family, doctors, nurse practitioners, mental health professionals whoever is needed to ensure that a proper plan is in place for each resident. Lastly, if a plan of care or plan of action doesn't work for a certain resident or a certain incident, then change the plan to reflect that individual resident or incident. That's why it's a good thing to always pay attention.

Miss Co Says...

November 3, 2021

BE NICE TO THE NEW KID ON THE HALL

Working in a nursing facility is a different world, literally. It is a very diverse setting with so many different facets to learn. So when new employees start they should be made to feel welcomed for joining the team but that is not the case for the most part. There may be some nursing home staff that are friendly, helpful and understanding but most of them are not. They are not friendly, not helpful, not kind, not anything but mean and hateful. New employees are trying to learn the ropes so to speak, trying to learn how things are done, trying to learn residents, trying to learn their way around the facility, trying to learn the rules and guidelines, trying to learn staff personalities and preferences and the list goes on. Stop being so mean to the new kid regardless of what role they are hired into at the facility; a simple hello and a smile goes a long way and I know for a fact that speaking hasn't ever hurt anybody. Speaking and smiling takes less energy than being mean and rude all day. Everybody has a job to do, everybody has bills to pay, everybody has problems, everybody tired and ready to go home but guess what everybody has a shift to complete. It will make the day go by a whole lot smoother and  probably cause everyone to sleep better at night. My point is, old staff should be more friendly toward new staff especially since old staff is always complaining about not having enough help, imagine that. Stop running the help off.

Miss Co Says...

November 4, 2021

THE RESIDENT IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT

It's sad to say but the most loving, sweetest and kindest resident will tell a lie. In most cases they don't realize that what they are saying is not true because in their mind it happened just the way they are telling it. The truth of the matter is the resident misunderstood what was said and/or misperceived what was done. Of course you can't tell a resident that they are lying but you can try to help them understand what was done or said. Sometimes what a resident says is just what happened and sometimes the resident is deliberately telling a lie. Regardless of what the resident says, whether it's true or not, an investigation should be conducted to make sure nothing that shouldn't be happening is happening. It doesn't matter how far-fetched their story is, the facility should still look into it. In most cases the findings will be that the resident's story was not true or it didn't happen exactly the way that they said. When it comes to the state surveyors coming in, if a resident was to tell them this same far-fetched story that you knew about, you best have some documentation showing the facility looked into the matter. Please don't bank on the resident not remembering because that will be the one time they do and the facility could face unnecessary consequences. No the resident is not always right but always treat them like they are right.

Miss Co Says...

November 9, 2021

HOLIDAYS ARE SPECIAL

Residents in nursing facilities for the most part look forward to the holiday season because they anticipate that they'll get to see family they don't see throughout the year or haven't seen in a while. I know some people have their lives, their schedules, their this and their that and they can't visit their loved one as much as they'd like but holidays should be a must. All schedules should be cleared for Thanksgiving day and if not the actual day some time around that day as well as Christmas day. Some residents really get sad and depressed around the holiday season because not only do family not come visit with them throughout the year they know no one is coming during the holidays. The facility of course picks up the slack by hosting holiday events and having the activities department to decorate the facility for the holiday occasion. This seems to put a smile on the residents faces but it's nothing like seeing family. It does not take much effort to show someone that you care and that you have not forgotten about them. Help spread some holiday cheer by going to see your loved one or someone in a nursing home this year or any year. I can assure you they will be happy and overwhelmed with joy by the mere fact that you showed up which is an indicator to them that someone cares. That kind of stuff makes them feel special and loved because all they want is affection and attention, even if it is from a complete stranger.