Do you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease

who needs a nursing home with a special care unit?
















Read the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts Chapter (www.alzmass.org) offers a guide for evaluating nursing homes for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

SPECIAL CARE UNITS

SPECIAL CARE UNITS

Some nursing homes and/or assisted living facilities offer specialized care for certain medical conditions or needs including:

•Alzheimer's and dementia care

•Parkinson’s care

•Respiratory care

•Kidney Dialysis treatment and care

Features:

•These Special Care units can be separate stand-alone facilities, or designated buildings, areas or wings of hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care facilities.

•Special Care Units for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease/dementia may be specialized nursing homes or designated portions of existing nursing homes. 

Services:

•Special services in these units may include secured grounds, trained staff, special architectural design and therapeutic activities

Cost:

•Special care units are generally high level in cost

Medicare Reimbursement

•Medicare does not cover costs for nursing facility or special care unit care for Alzheimer's, or other forms of dementia

Medicaid

•Special care units are not certified by Medicaid
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What To Look For In A Special Care Unit (SCU)

Some of the specific characteristics to look for in SCUs include

  1.     A structured routine for residents.


  1.     How much time the staff takes to gather specific lifestyle information about your loved one in order to individually cater to his/her needs.


  1.     Comfortable, familiar and safe surroundings; ask what is done to ensure safety


  1.     Compassionate staff


  1.    Activities that reflect the routines that each individual resident has established over a lifetime.


  1.     Activities that help people succeed at familiar tasks, whether it is making their bed or baking cookies. (These activities can help give the person a feeling of satisfaction and productivity.)


  1.     What is offered for outdoor activities, such as secured walking paths, waist-high gardening boxes for people to do their own gardening (so the person doesn't have to bend over).


  1.     Staff's ability to deal with difficult situations and behaviors; give examples and ask how they deal with them.


  1.     How wandering is handled.
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20 Questions To Ask

When Evaluating A Special Needs Unit

From AsYouAge

Below are some of the questions to ask a staff representative when investigating whether an assisted or skilled nursing facility is right for you or your loved one.  Because every person's situation is different, you may need to tailor the questions to better fit your  specific care needs.

1.    Do you accept people with special needs (for example Alzheimer’s disease or dementia)?

2.    How far into the disease will you care for them?

3.    What are your limitations regarding the (special) needs of the person?

4.    Is your staff specifically trained to care for people with                            special needs and/or Alzheimer’s disease? 

5.   What kind of training do they receive?  Who on the staff gets it?   

6.   What types of activities do you provide that are designed for people with special needs or who have Alzheimer's or dementia? (Ask to see the activity calendar for the last 3 months.)

7.   How many people with Alzheimer's do you currently serve?

8.   How many levels of care do you have and how are they categorized?    

9.   How many nurse's aides are scheduled on each shift? How are weekends handled?

10. What is the ratio of caregivers to residents?

11. Do you allow wheelchairs?  Oxygen

12. Do you accept people with incontinence problems?

13. Do you allow

14. What is the monthly fee for care for a person with Alzheimer’s?

15. What does the monthly payment include?

16. Is transportation included?

17. Aside from the monthly fee, are there any additional costs involved?

18. What happens when the family runs out of money? Do you accept state funding (Medicaid)? If not, what happens?

19.  What is your policy and procedure for handling death and dying?

20. Do you provide hospice care services or does the patient need to be transferred to a nursing home.
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Special Care Units

The content on AsYouAge.com is provided as a courtesy for our site visitors. The information, resources, links, advertisements and other material on AsYouAge does not constitute a professional opinion or advice; nor does it constitute an endorsement of any organization or the information, products and/or services they may offer.

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