Archive for March, 2007

Looking to Place a Loved One in Care?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Be Prepared! - Tips & Questions to Ask Caregivers 
Placing your loved one with any kind of care facility is an important decision and it will benefit both you and your loved one to do the kind of homework, background checks and discovery that enable you to make an informed and comfortable choice about where your loved one will spend, what could quite possibly be, the rest of their lives.

During your phone calls you should ask as many questions as you can think of. Don’t be afraid to probe and expect answers to questions that are important to you. Make notes of the answers you receive and put a check-mark by the homes that fit your loved ones’ care needs.

Different homes are licensed for different things, depending on their owner’s facilities and capabilities, care experience, staff and whether or not the owner/manager actually lives on the premises, as is the case with Just Like Home AFC.

If you are just starting out your enquiries, it can be difficult to know where to begin so here are some of the more important questions you should be thinking of:

  1. Is the home owner operated or manager operated?
  2. Ask the costs and types of occupancy e.g private / semi-private
  3. Does the home accept Medicare clients?
  4. If your loved one has a pet ask if the pet can stay with your loved one. On the flip side if your loved one has allergies you may want to make sure the house has no pets.
  5. If your loved one is incontinent or maybe they have a tough time walking, a commode by the bedside may be needed ask if that is acceptable.
  6. Is your loved one a wanderer? If so you need to be aware of this fact and know if the house has alarms on the doors. Many larger facilities such as assisted living homes do have such alarms, whereas family care homes typically do not.
  7. If your loved one has mobility issues such as needing the use of a walker or wheelchair, ask the caregiver if their home is wheelchair accessible or not.
  8. If your loved one requires a lot of care i.e. needs above and beyond medication management explain to the owner/manager your loved one’s specific needs and whether or not they can be accommodated.

Most homes support elderly who require extra care such as assistance bathing, going to the bathroom, moderate mobility assistance (walkers/canes/[wheelchairs]) and assistance with daily activities like dressing and diet management. However, the term “a lot of care” is typically meant to mean those who need a much higher level of medical and/or nursing care e.g. tube feeding, injections, bedridden etc.

Once you feel you have done as much groundwork as you can through phone calls, online (via the web) or public records research you should then plan on visiting the homes that you have short-listed. You may choose to do this unannounced and take a look at the house, the caregiver, and the other residents. Make notes and put a star by the homes your loved one would feel at home in. Spot calls are quite normal in the care business and allow you to see the normal day-to-day running of a home.

The caregiver should always make time to see you although you should remain appreciative of the fact that at any given moment resident(s) may need assistance which in turn require the caregiver’s immediate attention. Allow the caregiver the opportunity to see to those needs. After all, you would not wish to have your own loved one’s needs put aside when visitors call unannounced. Also keep in mind that you should call during normal working hours. Typically between 9:00am and 6:00pm. Early morning and late evening are typically very busy times in a care home as these hours involve getting the residents up and fed in a morning and situated and comfortable after their evening meal in preparation for their evening routine and bedtime.

Once you have narrowed down your list, return at least one more time to your top two or three choices. Again, you can choose to schedule such visits or make them unannounced and at different times of the day. This lets you know that the caregiver is flexible and can handle an unscheduled or emergency situation.

How Do I Choose An Adult Foster Care Home Or A Home For The Aged?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Placement of a Resident

If you are visiting our website, you have most likely already identified your needs for your loved ones and have a general understanding of the differences between, Adult Foster Care (AFC), Assisted Living, Homes For the Aged (HFA) and Nursing Homes.

Both AFC Homes and HFA provide care to persons who are or have:

  • Aged
  • Mentally Ill
  • Physically Disabled
  • Alzheimer’s Disease or other Dementia Related Disorders

Care may include assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, walking, toileting or the administration of medication.

The State of Michigan defines an AFC as:
Adult Foster Care (AFC) homes are residential settings that provide 24-hour personal care, protection, and supervision for individuals who are developmentally disabled, mentally ill, physically handicapped or aged who cannot live alone but who do not need continuous nursing care.
* AFC Homes are restricted to providing care to no more than 20 adults

However, the individual services provided by each AFC will be clearly defined and the licensee (owner) should be happy to discuss this with you in detail.

There are many types of AFC and HFA homes. Before making a decision, it is strongly recommended that you visit the home, talk with the residents , consider the neighborhood and question the provider. If you are still in the early stages of your searching and fact-finding, the agencies listed below may help you in the selection process:

  • Local Department of Human Services, Adult Services Unit
  • Michigan Department of Human Services, Office of Children and Adult Licensing, Licensing Division
  • Local Community Mental Health Board
  • Michigan Department of Community Health
  • Michigan Rehabilitation Services
  • Citizens for Better Care
  • Local Office on Services for the Aging
  • State Office on Services for the Aging

The numbers and addresses are in your local telephone directory.

When selecting an AFC or a HFA home, it is important that you clearly understand the services to be provided and the cost of those services.

Website Launched

Monday, March 26th, 2007

We are delighted to launch our new website which we hope will become a useful resource for families of our residents and those interested in learning more about us and/or placing a loved one with us.

This site went live on March 24th (2007) and is a work in progress so please bear with us as we continue to add content and update the site.

We have decided to use a powerful blog software called WordPress to create this website. Unlike traditional web pages coded in HTML, it allows us to add content as “articles” much like a journal as and when we need to.

The advantages are twofold. Firstly, it is much easier for us to keep you up-to-date with news and happenings here at Just Like Home. Secondly, it also allows us complete autonomy from relying upon a 3rd party web developer to manage and update our website for us which means our updates are timely.

What’s more, by subscribing, you can post responses in (called comments) to any of the published articles on this site which, once approved, are available to see by everyone.¬† For example comments are enabled for this post you are reading right now!