Since dad's in a NH, I have to ask a billion questions to find info out on everything. There should be a guide to nursing home living.

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For example, I made arrangements to get my dad to the doctors. First I was told all I had to do was meet him there. Then the day of the appt., the nurse called and told me to come to the home and get papers, which now I found out every time you take him to the doctors these papers must be taken also. That means, I have to go to the NH each time. What if I cannot make it there on time?? Dont they have to provide a CNA to go with him??? With the freaking papers?? They told me as long as a family member is going they dont provide the CNA. ughhhh


In my experience, each facility has its own rules, and some places are more officious than others. If there is not a written guide, try to sit down with the adminstrator or nursing director with a list of questions; try to come up with a rather complete list of scenarios and find out what their policies are.
My father-in-law is not in a NH per se, but a private pay memory care unit. They advertise "If your loved one needs a ride to the doctor, we provide that service free of charge". So I arranged to have him brought to the doctor, only to get a call from the facility asking, "Why aren't you here?". Apparently you need to be at the facility in order to get this ride. They really should be clear in what they are offering and how it is to be done. I'm still not sure of the rules. Do I have to ride in the van with him? Who knows. I will try to get more information on that. It was just disappointing because I had to work and thought that they had a CNA to bring the residents to their appointments.
My mom just went into a NH for long-term care as well and I too find the rules very confusing. She was in two other Skilled Nursing facilities before it was determined that she could not go home and I find that the rules are all different depending on the facility. What I have learned is never to assume anything and ask alot of questions. One of the biggest mistakes I encountered was to assume that a phone was provided for each resident. The last place we were at did not even have phone lines in the rooms so there was no option but to get Mom a cell phone. You can imagine that was a disaster. I just could not imagine building a place and some floors had phones and some did not! The admissions office never mentioned that and then once she was there they said oh, I forgot to mention that and told me there was a pay phone for the residents to use in the hallway.
You might want to find a Geriatric Care Manager to help you navigate the system. You can find one on this site by going to Caregiver Support and then Find Geriatric Care.
I suggest you find out if your nursing home has a Family Council. Go to their meetings, ask for their contact information. They will be able to answer your questions about that particular nursing home's policies.

There was not one at my ILs nursing home so another woman and I have been getting one established. They will not only know policies but they also tend to look out for and check on each other's family members.
Your experience sounds the same as ours. We have quit taking either of our mother's to the doctor and we just let the facility transport them.
chicago: do you call the doctor while your parent is there? Or call later? How do you get accurate information?
My husband's mother is able to tell him, what went on. My mother is in a very small town and the doctor will tell her POA, if asked.
Our issue with the facility our mom is at is they don't return our calls. They send out their monthly statement with only a day or two before it is due. Impossible to get it to them in time. So far they have not charged a late fee which we will refuse to pay if they do. Getting info is hard too even though I visit regularly. What we do is ask for a meeting with the head nurse once a month. He isn't always there when we visit because he is busy in meetings,etc.
Bottom line is you have to ask A LOT of questions. Learn as each issue comes up. Thats how I am finding out info. They have a meeting once a month and next month I will have a list of questions for them I am sure. I had to go with my dad in the transport van, and I could barely push him in the wheelchair. Then he had to go to the bathroom. I am lucky that he can still do that on his own pretty much. Plus, he doesnt want me in the bathroom with him. I dont blame him, I am his daughter. Well, we got back in one piece but I would of felt better if a CNA was with me, but thats not the case. If a family member is going than they do not send one, reason being they are also short staffed.

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