In part one of this article, we discussed the growing numbers of elderly population requiring long term care. We realize that there are challenges and difficulties that you as a case manager face in helping families decide how, when and where to transition an elderly loved one. In this article we will discuss tangible steps and ways that you can help guide a family in choosing a skilled nursing facility, usually one that is closer to loved ones and/or has specialized care.
Helping a Family Choose a Skilled Nursing Facility
Usually this decision comes as a result of geographical movement to allow the patient to be closer to family or as a result of a patient needing specialized care. Here as some tangible steps to offer the family as they are searching for a new facility.
- Make the family aware if they need a facility that offers specialty care or services such as memory or therapy of some kind. Tell them to focus on centers that offer that care or if they are calling to ask the facility about the specialty care. Provide any resources that you may have to help assist them in locating a facility that will meet those needs.
- Suggest to the family that they visit the facility at unscheduled times during different times of the day including shift change to be able to see the facility in all aspects of care. Suggest that they keep visiting during scheduled or different times even after their loved one is moved there in order to assure that the quality of care is consistent across all times of the day.
- Inform the family of the state’s website where they can access all the of the governmental inspection reports on each facility. These reports are public records and it is good place for the family to see what track record a facility has. For a complete listing of each state’s websites, go to https://www.medicare.gov/NursingHomeCompare/Resources/State-Websites.html
- Be willing to discuss any questions or concerns with the family during their search process.
- Confirm with the family members that the facility has an opening and/or the date that the opening is available. Make sure that the family is comfortable in all aspects with their selection.
This is never an easy process and usually the family has many doubts and concerns during this time. As a case manager, being able to offer guidance and support will help the family in their decision making process.