Making the decision to admit a loved one to a nursing facility – even for a short stay – can be difficult. Each facility is different, and long-term care is, in turn, quite different in many ways from hospital care.
Here are some common questions we receive from families and residents. We hope you find them helpful as you gather information to make your decision.
What is the admissions process for placing someone at a nursing facility? Most people are surprised at the number of steps involved in admitting their loved one to a nursing facility.
1. Physician’s order. The patient’s primary care doctor or hospital physician determines that admission to a facility for 24/7 nursing care is appropriate and writes an order for placement.
2. Researching long-term care facilities and checking on bed availability. Most families consider the following when selecting a facility:
- Location/proximity of the facility to family members and friends
- Reputation, recommendations from friends and caregivers, survey ratings
- Finding a facility that can provide the care, services and amenities needed for your loved one
- Whether the facility has a secure dementia unit for patients who have behavior issues or are inclined to wander
- Adequate staffing levels; caring and attentive managers and staff
- Clean, cheerful, safe environment; current residents look well-groomed, well nourished and content
- Has an appropriate bed/room available or a reasonable waiting list for placement
3. History and physical, current medication list, nursing/therapy notes. With permission from the patient or healthcare power of attorney, medical records about the patient are sent to the facility and an admissions committee there determines if the patient is appropriate to admit to that facility. The decision may be based upon such factors as the complexity of care needs, special equipment that may be needed, if an appropriate bed/room is available for that patient, the level of dementia, behaviors, and if the patient uses tobacco, to name a few.
4. Providing the facility with a plan of care. It’s important for the family to agree on a plan of care for their loved one. A facility needs to know up front if the person is being placed for short-term care, rehabilitation, respite care, or for long-term residency.
5. Power of Attorney for Healthcare/Guardianship documents. If the patient is alert and oriented, he or she can be part of the decision-making process and can sign admission papers. Nevertheless, it still will be necessary to appoint someone as Power of Attorney to help make decisions if the patient becomes unable to do so. If the patient is confused or incapacitated, a Power of Attorney for Healthcare or a court-appointed guardian must sign documents prior to admission, and will be involved in care decisions while the loved one is at the facility.
6. Advance Directives. Let the facility know if your loved one is to be revived with CPR and breathing assistance should it become necessary. Beyond the code status, it is usually a good idea to have a Living Will in place for your loved one, so you know their wishes regarding end of life care.
7. Payment/Insurance information. Find out the types of payment accepted by the facility, as well as its private pay rates. Medicare has strict guidelines regarding skilled nursing benefits, and does not cover long-term, or custodial care. Other payment sources accepted at River’s Bend are: HMOs, VA contracts, Ohio Medicaid, long-term care insurance and private pay. For private pay patients, facilities may require an advance payment prior to admission.
8. PASRR (Pre-admission screening and resident review) from the Ohio Agency on Aging. The state of Ohio requires a preadmission screening and resident review for admission to and continued placement in Medicaid and Medicare certified nursing facilities. The information is usually submitted by a case worker with the local Agency on Aging, a physician’s office, a Home Health agency or hospital social worker. The results letter must be received by the skilled nursing facility before the patient can be accepted or admitted to that facility.
Can my loved one continue to see his or her regular doctor after admission to a skilled facility? Upon admission, patients are cared for by a physician who has privileges there, so the patient will no longer be seen by their community general practitioner. However, patients may still be followed by specialists and will be referred to specialists when needed.
When are the visiting hours at River’s Bend Health Care?
We encourage visitors, and welcome them at any time. We do ask that you respect the needs of the roommate and other residents in the building during your visits. During regular business hours our receptionist releases the lock on the front door to let guests inside. In the evenings after 4:30 p.m., on weekends and holidays, however, families can tap the access code into the keypad to open the door. We will provide you with the code at admission.
Is there a limit to the number of people who can visit at one time? If it is not possible to visit in one of the common areas, we suggest a limit of one to three people in a resident room at one time.
Is there any private space at the facility to use?
You may reserve the activities room for special events (birthday, holidays, meals). Please contact the Activities Department to make arrangements.
Can I bring my children/grandchildren to visit?
Yes! We highly encourage children to visit. Young people often participate with arts and crafts and games with our residents, and everyone has an enjoyable time!
Can I bring a family pet to the facility?
We enjoy visits from clean, friendly, well-behaved family pets. We require proof of vaccination from your veterinarian. Please remember to clean up after them if there is an accident, and take proper safety measures at all times. All pets should be kept on a leash or in a pet carrier.
Can I take my loved one home for a visit or for an outing?
Patients who are undergoing a therapy program must complete required daily therapy sessions as prescribed by the Therapy Department. Patients may have a leave of absence only with agreement from Therapy, as well as the physician’s authorization, which can be arranged through the nursing staff. The resident or responsible party upon arrival and departure must sign the LOA (leave of absence) book, located at the nursing station.
How often will a physician or health professional visit?
Physicians generally see patients upon admission and once every 30 days thereafter, unless a patient needs to be seen more frequently. The physicians who see patients at our facility also have nurse practitioners to follow their patients. In addition, our nursing professionals are in frequent contact with the physicians who visit the facility. Check with our nursing staff for further information.
Will you keep me informed about how my loved one is doing if I can’t be there every day? River’s Bend Health Care keeps in very close contact with the responsible family member/Power of Attorney. We observe the HIPAA law for health information privacy (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Our nurses and social worker will call frequently with information and updates, and will contact you with any changes in status. It is then up to you to inform other members of the family and friends on your loved one’s status. River’s Bend also schedules regular Care Plan Meetings with family to give progress reports and answer questions.
Who do I talk to for complaints or concerns? We want your experience with River’s Bend Health Care to be as positive as possible and are committed to resolving issues that may arise. If you have any concerns or problems, please let a member of our nursing team know, or bring it to the attention of the R.N. House Supervisor on duty. If your needs aren’t met, please talk to the Director of Nursing, the social worker or the Administrator. Please let us know soon as possible when a problem occurs, with enough detail that we can identify who may have been responsible. The longer you wait to bring a concern to our attention, the more difficult it is to track down what happened and who was involved.
If an issue is not resolved to your satisfaction within the facility, contact the regional long term care ombudsman:
Rex Sanders, 800-582-7277
Can my loved one receive mail at the facility?
Absolutely. Mail is delivered to patients personally on a daily basis except for weekends and holidays.
River’s Bend Health Care
Attention: Mrs. Doe
335 Township Road 1026
South Point, OH 45680
Is smoking permitted in the facility?
For the safety and welfare of all patients and staff, River’s Bend Health Care is a non-smoking, tobacco-free facility.
My loved one has a favorite chair that I’d like to bring to the facility. Can you accommodate this?
We always want our patients to be comfortable; if space permits, small personal items from the resident’s home are always welcome.
Is there someone who provides hair services?
We have a fully equipped salon on site, and the beautician is available several times each week. Our beautician provides hair services for both men and women, including cuts, wash and sets, styling, perms and color treatments. Please contact our Activities Department to set up an appointment. Payment for all services is made in advance or at the Beauty Shop during the appointment. Tipping is not allowed.
Beauty Shop fees are provided in the Admissions Packet.
Where should I park my car when I come to visit?
Parking is available in the front of the facility and in the back of the building. Avoid parking in spaces specifically reserved for the handicapped (unless applicable), employees and physicians.
Can I bring in my loved one’s favorite food?
Consistent with the provision of special diets, always consult with the nursing staff before bringing food to patients. Any food kept in the resident room must be in properly sealed containers.
What articles of clothing should I bring?
We recommend approximately five to seven changes of clothing (seasonally appropriate) and a pair of comfortable rubber-soled shoes. All articles should be washed, clearly labeled with resident’s name in permanent ink and entered into the patients’ personal inventory log in the medical chart. Other personal items should be marked or engraved for identification. We advise that patients do not keep valuable jewelry or large amounts of cash in the facility.
Walking Shoes (non-skid soles)
Sweaters (with large buttons)
Shirts (button down suggested)
Walking Shoes (non-skid soles)
Will I be required to do my loved one’s laundry?
Bed linens and towels are provided and laundered by River’s Bend Health Care. We also do resident’s personal laundry at no charge. If you would prefer to do personal laundry for your loved one, please inform us during the admissions process and provide a bag or basket for the soiled laundry. If you are doing the laundry, please make sure it is washed at least once a week.
Please label all personal items brought into the facility with a permanent marker. If you decide later to change your laundry arrangements, please let a member of our nursing staff know.
Clothing and Laundry Tips: All personal clothing is washed in an industrial washing machine at a temperature of 180-degrees. Make sure your loved ones clothing is appropriate for washing and drying in these hot temperatures. Clothing that requires cold or warm water or special care is subject to damage and fading. All clothing must be labeled. Please label the clothing with the resident’s name, NOT the room number or initials. Mark clearly and in large letters on the inside neckline or waistband. All items must be marked including socks, shoes, and other personal items.
Toiletries: River’s Bend provides personal care items for residents. However, you are welcome to bring in any favorite products or items that your loved one may enjoy.
Will my loved one’s room have a television? Our short-term private rooms already have flat-screen TVs in them. The long-term semi-private rooms do not have TVs, so the family should bring one in from home. River’s Bend only accepts flat screen models, up to 46″, and families need to bring in the proper wall mounting bracket for the flat screen TVs. Members of our Maintenance Department can install TVs Monday through Friday. If a TV is brought in over the weekend, it will be installed within a reasonable amount of time the following week.
Is there a phone in the room? Families are responsible for providing phones and paying monthly service charges as applicable. Some residents are comfortable using a cell phone (don’t forget the charger). Land line phones may be brought in and service can be initiated by calling the local telephone company (Frontier Communications 877-462-1266) and requesting residential service to be setup. Please notify our Billing Department so they are aware you are setting up phone service. Residents are welcome to make calls at the Nursing Station at any time at no charge.
What kinds of activities are planned for the patients?
River’s Bend Health Care has a vibrant atmosphere with dynamic, individualized activities that match the capabilities and needs of patients and their guests. Scheduled activities include: music, fitness activities, religious meetings, outside entertainment, games, sewing, gardening, manicures and facials, movies, Wii computer games, field trips/outings, celebrations, cookouts and volunteer involvement. If you would like to arrange something special or have suggestions and ideas for individual or group activities, please inform our Activities Director. We welcome and encourage involvement from family and friends.
Will Medicare Part A cover my stay in the facility?
Patients must have a Medicare card that reads “Hospital Insurance.” They must also be admitted to the facility with a physician order within 30 days of a three consecutive night hospital stay. Generally, Medicare will pay 100% during the first 20 days of care at a skilled facility. For days 21-100, a daily co-insurance rate is required (a supplemental policy, such as Aetna or AARP usually covers to co-insurance amount). Medicare does not cover skilled nursing fees over 100 days. During Medicare skilled days, patients must meet strict criteria for coverage, such as specific nursing needs or therapy orders.
Long Term Care Insurance
Daily rates include room and board; three meals per day served in the main dining room or in the patient’s room, plus snacks – special diets upon physician order; daily assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), i.e., dressing, bathing, toileting, transferring, ambulation, personal hygiene and needs; daily housekeeping service; bed and bathroom linens; administration of medications as prescribed by either attending/alternate physician; 24-hour supervision by licensed Nursing personnel (R.N. or L.P.N.) and Certified Nursing Assistants; assistance with feeding; planned activities, recreational and occupational programs; drug regimen review; social services consultation; discharge planning and referral service; and furnished rooms in accordance with State and Federal regulatory agencies.
Depending on census and availability, River’s Bend offers the following:
Private room with private bathroom
Private room with shared bathroom
Semi-private room with shared bathroom
Please ask to speak with someone in our Admissions Department about room rates and availability. Call 740-894-3476 during regular business hours.
For private pay patients, these daily rates do not include medications, therapy or special equipment, which are an additional charge.
What happens if the patient uses up his or her Medicare days and still needs to remain in your facility? Medicare does not pay for long-term care. After using all Medicare days, the patient can use their long-term insurance policy (if they have one), they can pay private pay, or can apply for Ohio Medicaid. We discuss these options during care plan meetings and usually know several weeks in advance which arrangements are pending. However, long-term beds are provided only as they are available. If no long-term beds are available at our facility, we will work with the patient and family to find alternative placement.