Medicare publishes this document to assist people in checking the details and quality of care at any long-term care community.
No one ever wants to think about the possibility of a nursing home. Yet long-term care may figure prominently in many of our lives.
The New York Times recently published two articles by Jane Brody about how to choose a nursing home community carefully. In part one, Nursing Home Unthinkable? Be Prepared in Case It’s Inevitable, she interviews people who point out how the biggest problem for most families is the timing — the necessity of choosing a nursing community with little time for discovery or preparation.
The piece presents a veritable checklist to help a family go about making a choice when true nursing care is required.
Best Quote in Part I
Nursing homes generally have had a bad reputation as smelly, indifferent places where people go to die. But “there are some homes that are better than being at home,” Ms. Leefer said in an interview. “And there are many more good facilities than bad ones.”
The MGH Proto article also includes facts about the cost of building a completely new Green House community and provides an overview of the elder care culture change that is happening in other parts of the country. Author Delude points out that widespread success in culture change may depend on the staffing issues in elder care communities. Factors such as the huge turnover of elder care staff, their low pay, and the way that for-profit facilities maintain a staff that is about a third below the number of people that a non-profit nursing community hires.
I chatted with Dr. Bill Thomas during the grand opening of the Green Houses in Virginia.
In case you missed it, listen to this terrific All Things Considered segment, Move Over Nursing Homes — There’s Something Different. The July 23, 2013 radio story describes a visit to a Green House community in Baltimore and features Dr. Bill Thomas, the geriatrician who created the concept of elder care communities that help residents maintain as much independence as possible.
The reporter also interviews staff members and residents who describe their daily lives the Baltimore community.
Some 29 states currently have laws making adult children responsible for their parents if their parents can’t afford to take care of themselves. These “filial responsibility” laws have rarely been enforced, but six years ago when federal rules made it more difficult to qualify for Medicaid long-term care coverage, some elder law attorneys predicted that nursing homes would start using the laws as a way to get care paid for.
Written by Karen Ravn, the article suggests focusing on nine specific issues that make an enormous difference in the safety and security of a senior parent’s home environment — where most elders want to live as long as they can.
Best Quote in the Article
According to Dr. David Reuben, Geriatrics Chief at UCLA’s Department of Medicine, “… there’s always a tension between autonomy and safety. Children may want to err on the side of safety, but parents may want to err on the side of autonomy.”
One of the reasons that I am so excited about the Green House® Homes construction at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC), where my parents live, is the added option that these new dwellings will provide for my family, should one of my parents be unable to continue living at home. While their goal (and mine) is for them to continue living at home, we do not know what may happen to alter our plans, so it’s wonderful to have a care option that is not a nursing home. Moreover, one of the many advantages of Green House® Homes is that a key part of the mission is to help elders maintain their autonomy.
These four As Our Parents Age posts describe the process at VMRC. Watch for more that describe the construction. Continue reading →