Elder Care Information

5 Myths You Should Know Before Choosing 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


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Former N.H. elder care worker sentenced for stealing fentanyl - The ...
The Boston Globe
A former worker at a long-term care facility for the elderly in Salem, N.H., was given a three-year suspended prison sentence and two years of probation for stealing prescription fentanyl from a resident, the New Hampshire attorney general's office ...

and more »


Forbes

The Most Important Year-end Talk You Should Have About Elder Care
Forbes
It's been a sad, tough year for my family. I lost my oldest cousin and last uncle. In the same week that they passed, I had to situate my Dad in a memory care apartment due to his dementia. None of this was easy. Although nearly every financial expert ...



Carlisle Sentinel

Elder Care: Is nostalgia good for a new year?
Carlisle Sentinel
Some people may focus on January as an end to negative events of the previous year and look forward with hope to a new beginning. Others may look back over any number of years and reminisce about days gone by, and perhaps feel a little uncertain about ...



Pittsburgh Business Times

Elder care industry transitions toward more independent living ...
Pittsburgh Business Times
Organizations providing services for older adults are increasingly moving toward independent living solutions, even as they expand their facilities.

and more »


PBS NewsHour

10 questions to ask before hiring an elder care attorney | PBS ...
PBS NewsHour
Editor's Note: Journalist Philip Moeller is here to provide the answers you need on aging and retirement. His weekly column, “Ask Phil,” aims to help older Americans and their families by answering their health care and financial questions. Phil is the ...

and more »


Worcester Business Journal

Fallon Health names elder care exec
Worcester Business Journal
Worcester health insurer Fallon Health has promoted Annamaria Salisbury to lead its Summit ElderCare program as executive director, according to a company statement issued last week. Salisbury joined Fallon in 2010, overseeing one of Summit ElderCare's ...



WTXL ABC 27

Elder Care Services celebrates 100th birthday of Amanda Gee
WTXL ABC 27
(WTXL) - Tallahassee's Elder Care Services is celebrating the 100th birthday of one of their foster grandparent volunteers. Amanda Gee has served for 20 years at George W. Munroe Elementary School in Quincy, Florida. Gee was born in 1918 in Quincy and ...



HuffPost

Eldercare Stress During The Holiday Season – how to stay positive, productive, and sane.
HuffPost
Eldercare issues are dynamic and frequently require decisions be made with incomplete information-which is stressful. Unfortunately, under these circumstances, people tend to revert back to old patterns of thoughts and behaviors. As children Bobby was ...



The Daily Herald

Editorial: Act would help solve looming elder care crisis
The Daily Herald
Editorial: Act would help solve looming elder care crisis. As our society ages, we have to make a provision for family members' and our own long-term care. Tuesday, January 16, 2018 8:32am; OpinionIn Our View. You must sign in or register to continue ...

and more »


The Sentinel

Elder Care: Avoiding major decisions while grieving
The Sentinel
Serving as a guide to help our clients make wise decisions as they face long-term care issues is challenging. No two fact patterns are exactly alike. Even when facts or circumstances seem to be similar, it is important to recognize that different ...


Google News

home | site map
© 2009 Asteroidsearch .om