What do you do when your loved ones nursing home isn't rated well?

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My 90 year old grandmother was just placed into a nursing home. Looking through the reviews on the Medicare website and others from people's whose loved one has been in there were not good. What do you do? My mother is her Durable POA and didn't know where to place her when her memory has gone downhill so fast. I do not want to step on my mother's toes, however I know that she would rather my grandmother be in a nice place where she is treated nicely. My grandmother is on Medicare and Medicaid, the place we would like to place her says that they have no beds available for Medicaid patients. Very upsetting. I did find one in a town near by that has a lot better reviews then the one that she is currently in. Any help would be great as my grandmother has dementia and is really scared and combative at times. Please help me make the last little bit of my grandmother's life is well taken care of.

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Justin - you can move them easily ONCE they are on Medicaid. If she is new into the NH and still is Medicaid Pending, then you kinda have to wait till that is done and she is totally cleared on her Medicaid paperwork. My mom is in her 2nd and much better NH after less than a year in the first one. My mom's old, old gerontolgist is in the same practice as the medical director of NH#2, so I did take mom to see the old MD and they did a workup and it was in the file for the medical director of NH #2 to share. You should ask how they want to deal with transferring of medical files when you find the next NH.

I'd suggest placing her on a list at your top choices. Hopefully when they have an opening, she will be cleared through Medicaid and able to move within short order. For my mom, NH # 2 sent out a 2 person assessment team to visit mom to make sure they could provide the level of care she needed. I had already been to NH#2 and done an application for mom and provided a copy of all the paperwork needed along with her Medicaid approval letter. They had a bed available the day I did the application, so the assessment team went out a couple of days later. You will, as her DPOA, MPOA, need to authorize the assessment teams visit as sometimes the old NH will be hostile to this happening. They called me from the visit and said mom was OK for them. Faxed a letter to old NH that afternoon telling them she was moving EOM. Now Medicaid pays the facilities on a day rate so you only have to co-pay for the days she is still at NH #1 and you do not have to do a 30 day notice if they are on Medicaid either. I had paid for the month so that is why I set the move for end of month. Understand? From what I gather, if you move them mid month, it can take forever to get the co-pay back from the old NH to pay to the new NH. So you want the move to be set for the end of the month or beginning of the month so you just pay old NH for a few first days and then the new NH the rest. So no $ issues.

When you move her, you HAVE TO make sure that you take all her medications. They seem to be done in a 30 day blister packs and are issued monthly. Usually they are hanging in a bag in the nurses station drug area. Even if you have to wait 45 minutes tapping your foot, do NOT leave without her meds. Medicaid & Medicare won't duplicate payment and you will have to private pay for the meds and it could be expensive. Good luck.
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"Objective" reviews don't tell you everything. What gets rated great might be a bad fit for your loved one, and some of the things places are rated for may not be important for them. I think the most important thing is to GO, look, listen, smell; see that people are up and out of rooms and meet staff; see if staff are busy but not overhwlemed, and if there is cheerful activity going on versus everything neat and sterile and everything in its place. (of course, my mom preferred neat and sterile and everything and everyone in their place, as I learned the hard way; she really hated one place I picked out for her because people were always hanging out and chatting, lighting was not as bright, and the furnishings were older and mismatched...at one time, I could at least show her pictures and she could figure out what she liked from that, but after a stroke, her visual interpretation was off and we goofed on that one. I decided that I would like it if I ever needed one though.) If your loved one likes the place as well as they are going to like any place, don't worry as much about the ratings. Keep showing up for visits and don't be totally predictable about it.
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I was in a NH for rehab. Reviews are not always reliable. Go there yourself, introduce yourself to her nurses and call THEM daily to get an update. Visit often. These facilities are as good as you make them be. If they see you care about her, they will pay more attention to her.
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Perhaps start by letting your Mom know the NH is not well rated but you know of one that is getting good reviews and would like to go see it together. Talk to Admissions at the new NH about vacancies, your Grandma's issues, her finances and see if there is a bed available. Then set up the appt for a tour. I bet the Admissions director and their Social Worker can help you with the transfer. Good Luck!
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What is the best way to get a loved one out of a facility?
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What do you do? 1) Share research with Mom, 2) give your Mom a list of alternative placements for your grandmother.
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