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Category Archives: Care Transition

Choosing My Mother’s Next Home: A Caregiver’s Tips for Selecting a Long-Term Care Facility (Guest Post) Deborah Shouse

September 16th, 2013 | 0

Deb2Because of my mother’s deepening Alzheimer’s, my father is now living with a stranger, a woman he does not know or understand. He is afraid to go to sleep, because she wanders around at night. She, who cannot remember what a can opener is, an avocado, or a shoe lace, has figured out how to unlock the apartment door, find the elevator, press the down button, get in, and wander out through the lobby. The guard on duty quickly retrieves her, but her unchecked mobility unnerves my father.

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Time Pressures in Researching Assisted Living Facilities Christy Rakoczy

September 13th, 2013 | 1

TimeFar to often families face major time pressure when looking for a facility for a senior to live in. Often, seniors will be reluctant to enter into an assisted living or nursing home facility, preferring to maintain their independence for as long as possible. This can lead to a situation where a senior lives alone for too long until a state of emergency is reached. This emergency may be a triggering event such as a fall or a stroke, or it may occur when a near-injury or near-death experience happens, such as a relative coming over to find that an absent-minded senior has left the stove on.

Unfortunately, this means that in many situations, a senior needs to be placed into an assisted living facility or a nursing home quickly as the senior is clearly no longer able to live on his or her own without being at risk. This can leave families scrambling to get a senior into a safe environment right away, with minimal time for researching and choosing the right facility.

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Absence of Comparable Data for Families Seeking Assisted Living Facilities Christy Rakoczy

September 6th, 2013 | 4

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Some of you may have recently read my post from last week entitled, “A Close Look at the Assisted Living Industry – And What You Should Do About It.”  In the article I highlighted that the absence of comparable data for families seeking care is a core issue facing those in need of any type of long term care.

Assisted living facilities provide a solution for seniors who are not able to live entirely on their own but who do not want or need the round-the-clock medical care that is provided in a nursing home. Assisted living facilities can allow seniors to maintain a broader degree of independence and to live in a more home-like setting as compared with the more institutional setting of a nursing home.

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The Fundamental Differences between Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Care Facilities Dan Trigub

August 29th, 2013 | 1

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As many of us who are deeply involved with care transitions know, everyone has there own opinions about what type of care is best. Usually those giving the strongest opinions coincidentally own or be work for the very type of business they are touting. In the end it’s really up to the family members and person needing care to fully understand the different options and decide for themselves which is best. In the case of housing and more specifically the decision between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes, the question really comes down to the level of care required.

At the most simplistic level, many residents and family members sometimes fail to understand the fundamental differences between assisted living homes and nursing care facilities.  

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A Close Look at the Assisted Living Industry – And What You Should Do About It Christy Rakoczy

August 26th, 2013 | 7

Frontline-LifeDeath2Recently, PBS’s Frontline produced an in depth three part series on what life is like inside of assisted living facilities. PBS focused on assisted living facilities run by Emeritus, the parent company of the largest chain of assisted-living facilities in the nation.  Emeritus was chosen as the focus because, as a large national chain, it has the resources and infrastructure to provide adequate care to patients. Unfortunately, it alleged that Emeritus was falling short and letting patients down in many ways.

The disturbing three-part Frontline series highlighted tragic stories of patients in assisted living facilities who died in care facilities that did not have the tools or policies in place to care for them.  Unfortunately, variations of these stories may happen without the headlines at many assisted living facilities throughout the United States, as the business model of assisted living may be set up to encourage a focus on profits rather than people.

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Why Healthcare is in the RED (Re-Engineered Discharge Toolkit) Christy Rakoczy

August 22nd, 2013 | 6

ToolboxDue to scrutiny of hospitals’ readmissions rates, and new penalties being issued in order to encourage hospitals to improve their readmissions rates, many hospitals and other organizations are attempting to create new ways to improve readmission. This has begun by analyzing discharge policies and seeking creative means of improving them.

Developed by researchers at Boston University Medical Center, RED, the Re-Engineered Discharge Toolkit  is aimed to help hospitals implement a plan to reduce readmissions. There are 12 components to the toolkit.

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David Lindeman, PhD, Our Featured Health Care Trailblazer Daniel Danzig

August 15th, 2013 | 2

DavidLindermanThis month’s Health Care Trailblazer, David Lindeman, PhD, is an influential leader in the field of aging and technology. In recent years, he has focused on help to speed the adoption of mobile technologies.  New devices and apps are transforming health care — not only by supporting transitional care and reducing readmissions —  but enabling patients to remain in their own homes even while dealing with difficult to manage chronic conditions. Recently, we caught up with Dr. Lindeman, who is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

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Pharmacists, the New Discharge Planners? Christy Rakoczy

August 1st, 2013 | 3

PharmacistThe role of the pharmacist in the discharge process has previously been minimal. However, new studies of hospital readmission rates aimed to improve healthcare has resulted in increasing the roles of various workers in the healthcare profession in order to improve readmission rates.

Pharmacists are now playing an integral part in the discharge process largely due to the change in medications that often results from hospitalization and the recovery process. By being a part of this process, pharmacists are becoming great contributors to the reduction of hospital readmission rates.

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A Case Managing Tablet? Christy Rakoczy

July 29th, 2013 | 1

TabletAs technology continues to improve its applications within social work and healthcare are proving to be infinite. Most recently, the emergence of a system utilizing tablets has helped case workers to save time and increase productivity exponentially.

Northwoods’ Compass CoPilot is the program being used to change the face of case management. Adapted from the company’s Compass software, it is compatible with Android tablets.

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The Discharge Planner’s Survival Guide: 10 Essential Resources Christy Rakoczy

July 22nd, 2013 | 2

SurvivalGuideWhen planning patients’ discharge it is essential to ensure that best practices are followed. Ensuring that all necessary care has been provided to a patient while hospitalized and identification of needs and resources of the patient after discharge are crucial. In addition, it is imperative that patients are educated on how to care for themselves after being discharged including sharing what appointments will be needed as follow-up, medications and dosage, nutritional needs, and knowing who to contact in the event extra care or community resources are necessary. Finally, it is important to assess the patient’s ability to achieve optimum recovery by understanding needs such as transportation and family support.

There are a variety of tools and resources available to assist discharge planners that have the ability to execute a patient’s discharge effectively. Ten of the top resources are:

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