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Frequently Asked Questions

Will my own doctor check on me in the facility?
  • This depends on whether your doctor has privileges in the facility where you are admitted. If he or she is not credentialed for your facility, then your case will be referred to another doctor who is on staff there.
  • While everyone’s medical condition varies, typically the facility physician will make rounds once per week.
  • A nurse practitioner who works under the physician’s supervision is typically in the facility 2-3 times per week, seeing various patients during each visit.
  • Upon discharge, a facility will usually release information pertaining to your medical status to your personal physician at your request.
What should I bring with me to the facility?
  • First and foremost, bring all insurance and/or Medicare/Medicaid cards.
  • Provide any and all insurance coverage cards to the admissions representative at the facility.
  • Also, make sure to have drivers license and social security cards with you as they may be needed to complete the admission process.

Also, bring items that will make your stay more restful and easier on you, such as:

  • Comfortable clothing, with your name clearly written on the label. Bring enough clothing for at least 7-10 days.
  • A pair of non-skid, supportive shoes and socks
  • Pajamas/robe
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste, denture cups
  • Comb, brush, personal lotions, deodorant and other essential toiletries
  • Hearing aide, eyeglasses and eyeglass case
  • Reading materials, family photos
  • Radio
  • Small television and telephone – In most facilities, you may arrange to have these services provided at your expense. You may also bring your cell phone should you wish to use it instead of a wall jack telephone. Some facilities provide TV’s in their rooms, so just ask your assigned social worker at the hospital if you should bring one with you.
How do I know if I or a loved one can still live at home or should move into some kind of a facility?
  • Look for some of the following signs to guide you as to whether you or a loved one needs help:
  • Requiring daily assistance with eating, dressing, bathing or using the toilet.
  • Forgetting to take medications or perhaps taking too many
  • Behaving in ways that could be harmful (to yourself or to others)
  • Wandering away from home or frequent signs of memory loss
What's the difference between skilled nursing and assisted living?

While nursing homes provided the highest level of care for seniors outside of a hospital, assisted living is best for seniors who need some help with bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming, and eating, but do not require 24-hour-a-day health care by doctors.

What safety measures are in place?

One of several reasons people decide that elders with chronic health problems are better off in a nursing home than in their own homes is safety. The obvious point of safety in nursing homes has always been that there are trained professionals on the spot in case of a fall, medication reaction or other health issue. However, with advances in technology, nursing homes have advanced in safety measures over and above what they once provided.

For example, cameras in entrances and locked security systems keep nursing home staff informed about people who come and go. Good nursing homes want to encourage visitors and need to keep security as unobtrusive as possible in order to offer a home-like atmosphere, while still maintaining a safe environment for residents.

What happens if an elder has an emergency?

Staff and trained personal are available 24 hours a day to handle emergency situations. Skilled nursing facilities have arrangements with local hospitals and health care professionals for assistance with emergencies.

Are there social activities?

Yes. Skilled nursing residences have a full calendar of activities and social events for residents, including art classes, ice cream socials, bingo and game night, prayer service, movie night and guest speakers. 

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