The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care has some information on the Corona Virus (COVID-19). This is a national organization advocates for senior citizens. They provide valuable information concerning eldercare in the U.S. Currently they are posting revised regulations concerning the Coronavirus and senior citizens. Their website also offers other information concerning Senior Citizens and their care.
CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services), has issued a final "Rule for Updating Requirements for Notification of Confirmed and Suspected COVID-19 Cases among Residents and Staff in Nursing Homes".
This is important and sets guidelines for nursing homes concerning COVID-19. This puts specific reporting in place that is needed. We will no longer have people not knowing if a loved one in a nursing home has the virus or that their loved one had died from the virus.
Nursing homes that care for Medicare and Medicaid recipients are regulated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. CMS has proposed new regulations that would eliminate or ease up on the responsibilities of nursing home owners and remove protections for residents. Comments to the regulations were due September 16th. We are concerned that the new regulations could result in reduced safety, quality care and rights for nursing home residents in Missouri.
MCQC submitted comments to the regulations objecting to several of the proposed changes, and offering suggestions that we feel would improve quality of care and quality of life for nursing home residents. Please contact us
if you would like to review our comments.
One of the most important decisions you may have to make is to find the best long-term care facility for a loved one. There are many good nursing homes in Missouri. We encourage you to visit several homes before making a decision. You also need to check to see if the home you are interested in has had any violations.
If you find that a home you are interested in has had violations, ask the administrator how they corrected the situation. You can also ask to see their last inspection report.
Once you place someone in a facility, remember the facility works for you and your loved one. Visit and visit often. Go at different times and days each week. Go for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Go around bed time or days that they have activities. Be an active participant between administrator and social worker at the facility. If you have questions about what is going on, speak to the head nurse, administrator, social worker. Meet and talk to them on a regular basis about the care your loved one is receiving. Most importantly talk to your loved one about how things are going. This is a big decision to place someone in a long term care facility. Make sure it is the correct facility for your loved one's needs. If you feel that your loved one is possibly being abused or neglected call the Missouri Adult Abuse Hotline, 1-888-262-5644.
One of the hardest decisions you may have to make, and one of the most important, is the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or long term care facility. So how do you make the right choice? There are many nursing homes, assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities to choose from. If you live in a metro area you will have numerous choices. If you live in a rural area your choices may be limited. But in either area, what you are looking for is the same.
1) Nursing Home Checklist
2) Contact the Area Agency on Aging in your area. Explain your situation and they will assist you in finding facilities in your area that may meet the needs of your loved one. They can assist you with questions on how to pay for the costs of the facility, for instance is the facility private pay only? Do they accept Medicaid? Or do they accept both type of payments.
3) Look up care facilities in Missouri by city and or zip code. Other sources are www.nursinghomes.com
4) Once you have a list of potential facilities, check our Nursing Home Violations link to see if the facility has had any violations against them in the past. A violation doesn’t mean it is a bad facility, but does give you an idea of the care they provide. You can search by year and region. Another resource is www.memberofthefamily.net
. If you find that the facilities you are interested in have had violations, ask the administrator how they corrected the problems.
5) If possible, visit more than one facility. When possible, visit 3 or more before making a decision. Do not, if at all possible, place someone in a facility without first visiting the facility. Take the checklist with you. Use it as your guide on what to look for, whom you need to speak with and what questions to ask. This is also the time to ask about any violations the facility may have had. Ask the facility director how they corrected the problems. Also speak with the head nurse, dietitian, social worker, and ombudsman. Make sure that the facility is a place where your loved one will be able to maintain a decent quality of life. No one wants to be in a nursing home, but you need to make sure that the facility is a place that your loved one will be able to maintain a decent quality of life. Ask about safety in the facility, especially what do they do in case of fire, tornados and floods. Are evacuation plans posted and how often do they have fire drills. How often is staff trained on the procedures? What is the ratio of staff to residents during the day time and what is the ratio of staff to residents during the evening and over night hours? What is their staff turn over rate? Are they a not for profit facility or a for profit facility?
6) If you have questions concerning Medicaid issues, go to www.medicare.gov
7) If you have questions concerning Medicaid go to mydss.mo.gov
. This site will answer general questions about the Medicaid program and will give the contact information for the Division of Family Support office in your area.
8) If you have any questions concerning elder care issues go to www.health.mo.gov
. This site provides information on elder care issues.
Once you have placed your loved one in a facility, be an active participant in their stay at the facility. Find out when they do their staffing sessions concerning your loved one and attend these staffing. Make sure they schedule them when you can attend. They are to be scheduled at your convenience not at the convenience of the facility. Attend some of the activities. Have breakfast, lunch or dinner with them. Make yourself well known to the facility and the staff. Remember the nursing home works for you and your loved one. Make sure they get the care you expect.
Hopefully this helps you in your search for a good facility for your loved one.