Facility is saying that oxygen has to be handled by her and not their nurses and any assistance would be "skilled nursing" not assisted living even though they rated her at a level 3. Is this correct? We are paying 8100 for room and board which includes Level 3 care at $450 each additional care for her and her partner. But they don't want to help her with the oxygen.

Can you contact the state health department? I also suggest the ombudsmen but that may be for nursing homes. I am new to SC and I am learning the ropes. Mom is in MC ( 5 levels of care) and gets a lot of attention for around $7000. The big difference in SC is that she cannot have meds, sharp objects, plus many liquid products that residents may accidently drink. However, I see no residents on oxygen. But in a previous state, all assistants could handle tanks and concentrators. Ask the state officials if handling oxygen is within an ALF scope of practice. If the answer is yes, then this place requires inspection. If the answer is no, due to scope of practice, then consider transfer across state lines because you are stuck. I see you are in the center of the state. I am close to NC.
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Reply to MACinCT

I just lost the message I thought I posted, so if it shows up and there are two messages....just ignore one.

Gaut, is your mother using a stationary oxygen concentrator, or portables?   I'm assuming she uses oxygen 24/7, so a concentrator would be the only reasonable source.   They're heavy, but durable and easy to use. 

Other options:   E tanks are somewhat heavy, and at a 2 Liter flow would generally last about 2 hours (at least that was the situation when my father was on oxygen.)   They're much too heavy for an older person to lift and change.

Portable units are easier to handle, but since the shift was made from using a number of portable batteries to a stationary battery that needed regular recharging, they have less of a life and aren't that reliable for more than a few hours. 

The stationary concentrators do require nominal maintenance.   The water bottle generally needs refilling daily, with distilled water, and regular cleaning.   If I remember correctly, there's also a filter on the side of the concentrator that requires weekly cleaning.  And cannulas need to be changed, but I don't recall how often a facility would change them.

I have the feeling this company is still on a shakedown cruise and working out its support and care systems.    If they stand firm on no support for oxygen needs though, I definitely would start looking around.
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Reply to GardenArtist

I think that most CNAs are not trained in working with O2. This isn't just a matter of putting tubing on and off, but of setting gauges. It certainly is simple enough, but I think they don't want to take it one with only CNAs there. I would check with the admin at your facility about policy. You are paying such a lot. I am sorry to hear about this.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

AL living is just that, they assist. The people who care for her are not nurses but aides probably with a CNA certificate. As such, there are duties they are not allowed to perform because they have no medical training. They are not able to dispense pills so oxygen is probably a no no too since you need to know how to adjust it. All they do is bathe, dress and toilet the residents. Sometimes strip the bed and remake it. Cleaning is done by housekeeping.

Moms AL was small so only one RN was in charge. She did not physically care for the residents. She order meds, kept State records, was there if medical attn was needed or evaluate to send to the hospital. She also evaluated a resident for the level of care that would be needed before the resident moved in. If the facility was aware Mom was on oxygen when evaluated, you need to ask what has changed since the initial evaluation?
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Reply to JoAnn29

You'd have to read the contract you signed when she entered the ALF; read what their rules are on the subject of oxygen. Whether what they're telling you is 'correct' or not, it's up to THEM what rules they put in place! If your mom went into the ALF on oxygen, were they helping her with it all along and just now they're not? I mean, I'm not sure I even understand this.............what 'help' does she require with oxygen? My mother lives in an ALF, uses oxygen at night, but puts the cannula on herself. The aides pretty much help her with whatever she needs help with.............but this is a privately owned ALF she resides in. Is your mom in a corporate owned ALF, by chance? They LOVE to fiddle around with rates and rules and all sorts of things in order to charge more........that's been my experience with Brookdale, as an example.

Speak to the Executive Director to get your questions answered and to address your concerns. If they were unwilling to help her in any way with oxygen, then why did they accept her into their facility with oxygen to BEGIN with? That would be my first question to the ED, and it would be a very direct question! If they're trying to charge you at a higher level of care for the oxygen usage, then again, I'd ask why you weren't informed of that UP FRONT since she arrived at their place with an oxygen tank!

Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
Gaut9041 Nov 10, 2020
Yes, mom was accepted into the facility while she was on oxygen. In fact, they tried to pressure Mom and her partner into going in a week earlier so that they "can take care of her needs". The problem is this facility is brand spanking new and in my opinion were not ready to receive residents. . My mother was the second resident to go in. They are now at six residents. We have had two cases where they did not respond to her medical alert because (1) the alert needed calibration and was not working. (2) They rang and rang for over an hour with no one attending to her. She was having trouble breathing. It happened a second time and they said the internet was out. She was locked out of her apartment just yesterday because there was a problem with the door latch that never got fixed over two weeks ago, when they learned there was an issue. They were locked out for over two hours. My mother was concerned her oxygen was running out and went into an anxiety attack. The director had to drive in last evening from her home one hour away because she was the only person with the master key The day she moved in, the closet rods collapsed right off the walls. Its been one thing after the other. She couldn't breath one night and they called an ambulance and she was in the hospital for two days before the family was called. I am the POA and not one phone call. Her partner of 16 years who is 95 was left to tell us.. Never anyone letting us know. Its been a disaster and we are paying them over $8 K a month for this. I have been tough on them and told the direction we may need to look at other options and there has been too many mishaps and possible they opened up too soon. They did not like that since they are trying to get residents in there. Its a beautiful place, but if they cannot attend to their sic residents, then what are we paying for? They rated her a Level 3 (highest level) which we assume they meant needs care. Today at dinner, the director went over to them to tell them she had to handle the tanks herself and asked them when they were leaving. Mom responded, this is assisted living... are you going to help us understand how to use the tanks and get them recharged? Just an awful situation.. I am tempted to call the state. If you live in Blufton SC area and are considering assisted living facilities, reach out to me and I will tell you which one NOT to go into.
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