Q: 1. What is a Skilled Nursing Facility/Home?
A: It is a great opportunity for the continuity of care for the resident, IF the home is also a skilled facility. These additional higher levels of care allows the resident to return to their HOME environment after a hospital stay to have continued higher level of nursing care or in-house rehabilitation care. The resident can choose to return to their home, where this level of care can be performed allowing the resident to be discharged from a hospital environment. Park Plaza Nursing Home offers skilled and in-house rehabilitation services to our residents.
Q: 2. What things should I look for when selecting a nursing home and what factors should be involved?
- The level of individualized care which would be required by the resident.
- Financial responsibility (Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans benefits, long-term care insurance, or private pay).
- Location (proximity to family and friends).
- Size (larger nursing homes may offer more services and have more professionals on staff , however smaller nursing homes are less “institutionalized” and it is easier to develop personal relationships between residents and staff).
- What is the condition of the building?
- Smell (At most times a nursing home should not have foul odors, however occasional odors for short periods are unavoidable.)
- What is the physical appearance of residents?
- What is the physical appearance of staff and the manner in which they treat residents?
- Inquire about Food Services.
- Inquire about the Activities Program.
- Number of Licensed nurses including Administrative Nurses on duty.
- Number of Certified Nurses Assistants on each shift.
- Is there a Nurses Assistant specified for assisting with baths?
- Does the Facility have On-Site Rehab?
- Is there a Restorative Aid to assist after Rehab?
When looking for a nursing home, talk to your doctor, neighbors, friends, and Church members, and tour the facility for yourself.
Q: 3. What is the cost of Long Term Nursing Care and how is it paid?
A: The cost of Long Term Care varies depending on the needs of the resident. There are many different sources of funding which may be available to cover the cost of one’s long-term nursing home care. For example, one of the following may be utilized: private pay funds, Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care insurance, or Veterans benefits .
Q: 4. Are private rooms available?
A: Most nursing facilities offer both private and semi-private rooms. There may be a difference in cost for a private room and there could be a waiting period for availability. Park Plaza Nursing Home homes offers private rooms.
Q: 5. How are medical needs of the resident met?
A: Nursing homes have a Medical Director who works closely with the interdisciplinary team and the resident to meet the medical needs of the resident. Care Plan meetings are held to determine the needs of a resident and the resident and/or resident’s family members are encouraged to attend and participate.
Q: 6. How is a resident’s hygiene taken care of?
A: Nursing staff and Certified Nurses Aids offer assistance to each resident based on their level of independence and the amount of assistance needed or wanted. There are regular schedules for showers or baths, however the residents are not restricted only to these times.
Q: 7. What assurance is there that the meals are appropriate for a resident’s needs?
A: Park Plaza Nursing Home has a dietary services manager who directs the kitchen/dietary department of the facility. Our Dietary Services Manager is supervised jointly by the Administrator of the facility as well as a Registered Dietician. A Registered Dietician assesses the nutritional status of the residents, monitors the residents’ weights, makes dietary recommendations to the doctor for meals, snacks and supplements, assist the facility’s dietary services’ manager in menu selection, and participates in the residents’ care plans to adapt the nutrition to a resident’s personal needs.
You can ask the administrator for the name and telephone number of the Registered Dietician for the specific facility to speak to him/her directly for individual questions.
Q: 8. Is there any advice in regard to clothing? What is appropriate?
A: Residents may wear the clothing they normally wear and find comfortable. In special situations where a family member has difficulty dressing due to a disability, staff may make suggestions for clothing that is easier to put on and take off. Clothing should be labeled if it is going to be laundered by the facility.
Q: 9. Are laundry services offered?
A: Park Plaza Nursing Home offers laundry services which are included at no extra charge, however the family may chose to do the laundry themselves.
Q: 10. May a resident leave the nursing home for visits?
A: Yes, a resident may leave the home on pass. However in certain situations, the length of time of the pass is restricted and may affect Medicare payments. Check with our facility for details.
Q: 11. Are visitors allowed and can residents receive phone calls?
A: Yes, the facility is the residents’ home and visitors are welcome. The same courtesy rules apply for visiting in the facility as when visiting in someone’s home. Check with our facility administration and with the resident for the best times to visit.
Phone calls to residents can be made through the nursing station, the Resident Community Phone offered by the facility, or the family may pay for a private line in the resident’s room.
Q: 12. How can the family be a part of a resident’s Holiday Celebration in the Nursing Homes?
A: You may be involved in Holiday celebrations by decorating the room of a resident appropriately for the season. Also Family Members are invited to Holiday Meals and celebrations with the residents. We encourage you to participate in as many of the residents’ activities as you can.
Q: 13. Can I use the e-mail to send my family member an email letter?
A: Yes, our facility e-mail available for business use as well as for residents’ use if desired. You can find the residents’ email address on the homepage of our facility, or contact our facility for more information. The staff of the facility will also assist the resident in answering your letter via e-mail!
Q: 14. If I have a complaint or a concern, to whom do I direct this? May I call it in anonymously?
A: Yes. We welcome anyone with concerns and complaints to report to whom they feel most comfortable at our facility. You may contact the facility Owner/CEO, Administrator, Director of Nursing or Social Worker.
Each nursing home facility posts contact numbers for the local ombudsman who acts an advocate for the residents. If you are unable to locate the number to the local office you may contact the Austin office at 1-800-252-9240.
If you are not satisfied that your concerns have been addressed you may contact the Texas Department of Human Services in Austin at 1-800-252-9240.