What do I bring with me when I move in?
Families are encouraged to decorate the resident’s living area with personal belongings such as flowers, pictures, and other memorabilia. In addition, please bring:
- Personal clothing (day and night-time wear)
- Comfortable, non-skid shoes
- Lightweight sweaters
- Personal equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, canes, etc.)
What can I do to make the transition easier for my loved one?
There are many decisions that go into the process of choosing a nursing home for yourself or someone you care for. It is normal for the family and the resident to experience some degree of anxiety about the move. A life change as important as moving into a nursing home should be handled with care and should be made as comfortable as possible. Residents and family members can make the transition easiest by remaining informed and by proactively seeking a caring environment where the resident will feel most at home. During the transition, frustrations may occur while your loved one is becoming accustomed to the new surroundings. Following are some suggestions to help make the transition easiest:
- Remain active in your loved one’s life.
- Visit as often as possible and encourage their friends to visit.
- Attend regular family meetings the facility may hold and become involved in ongoing events and activities.
- Bring pictures and familiar mementos when you visit (family members, church activities, friends, etc.)
- Engage your loved one in conversation about their new surroundings and listen as they speak about their experiences in the past and present.
- Discuss current events to help maintain awareness.
Nothing can replace your personal visits to a long-term care facility. Meeting the staff and caregivers and staying involved in the care of your loved one is vital.
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What should I do if I have a problem that I’d like to have addressed?
You should always feel free to talk to anyone at the facility about your loved one’s care. The administrator is the highest authority on-site and is available to discuss any concerns you might have. If you have a specific issue, please feel free to discuss it with the appropriate department head (Director of Nursing, Food Service Supervisor, etc.).
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What are the payment options for a nursing home?
Long-term care is paid for in a number of ways. The following provides an overview of the most common payment options:
- Private Pay
With private pay, the resident or responsible party pays a certain rate per day. The rate is determined in part by the type of room assigned to the resident. It includes general nursing services and room and board. The rate is subject to change over time as the basic rate of the center changes; 30 days advance written notice will be given prior to any changes to the basic rate. Residents applying for Medicaid benefits are considered as private pay until an official letter from the Texas Department of Health Services has been received.
The following services are not included: extra charges such as medication, equipment rental, beauty shop/barber services or other outside services requested by the resident or responsible party, or prescribed by the resident’s physician.
To be eligible for a Medicare skilled nursing stay, participants must have Medicare Part A benefits and have been hospitalized for three consecutive days within the last 30 days. Medicare coverage is established by federal guidelines. A participant is allowed up to 100 days of skilled nursing per benefit period, if all eligibility and medical criteria are met. Medicare will pay all of the medical charges (including room and meals) for the first twenty days and only partially for the remaining eighty days. The “co-insurance” is the financial responsibility of the resident or responsible party.
Medicare will not cover personal convenience items such as the additional cost of a private room, barber/beauty services, private telephone or cable television.
For centers that participate in the Texas Medicaid program, payment for general nursing services and room and board are provided by this program. If the resident meets both medical and financial criteria, the Medicaid Eligibility Specialist may determine that the resident is to pay a share of cost-applied income to the center each month. This amount is based on a resident’s monthly income. The monthly share is subject to change and is payable to the center during the same month that nursing services are rendered.
Medicaid will not pay for certain extra charges such as private room, beauty/barber shop services or other services requested by the resident.
- Managed Care/HMO
Skilled nursing services by a managed care plan/HMO are rendered based on medical need, as determined by the plan’s case manager. The resident/responsible party is financially liable for any co-pay or deductible as defined by the plan’s benefits and coverage of services.
What about prescriptions?
All medications must be prescribed by a duly licensed physician and are administered in accordance with the physician’s orders. All costs of medications are the responsibility of the resident/responsible party, unless otherwise arranged with the center.
No medications may be brought to or taken from the center without written authorization of the resident’s physician. If a resident needs to take medication off premises, reasonable advance notice must be given so that it may be prepared.