Medical & Personal Care

personal-medical-care-care-haven-homes

Most of our residents can live in Care Haven’s homes from Alzheimer’s earliest through latest stages. We’re able to meet a wide range of round-the-clock medical and personal needs, and to continue to meet changing needs.

Our typical resident-to-caregiver ratio is far lower than that of virtually all assisted living or skilled nursing facilities. This gives our professional caregivers – all specially trained in addressing the health concerns of seniors with memory loss – the time and flexibility to provide close medical and personal care at whatever level a particular resident may require.

Click each service below to learn more about the medical and personal care offered by our Care Haven homes.

Note: Certain medical and personal services may result in additional charges. Please contact Courtney Goin for a full description.

Initial Assessment & Individual Health Care Plan

Medical-Services---Initial-Assessment-&-Individual-Health-Care-PlanBefore you commit to a move into a Care Haven home, one of our nurses will visit your loved one at his or her current residence. There she’ll conduct a thorough clinical assessment. Scheduling an assessment doesn’t commit you to a move; should you or we decide that Care Haven isn’t the right fit for your loved one, you won’t be charged for the assessment.

Why is a clinical assessment so important? It’s the first step toward planning for the long-term care of your loved one.

  • We attempt to identify all of prospective residents’ health issues, both those associated with dementia and those related to other medical conditions.
  • We want to be certain we’re prepared to meet the needs of any new resident and the expectations of his or her family.
  • We also begin to form a care team, including any physicians, pharmacies or outside health care agencies with which you choose to continue a relationship.

Our staff uses the assessment to develop an individualized health care plan. Among other things, the plan addresses recommendations for

  • Diet and medication management
  • Continence management
  • Physical accommodations to encourage independence, mobility and safety
  • Recreational activities to improve physical and mental well-being
  • Behavioral modifications to reduce confusion, anxiety and agitation

Once the health care plan is in place, our Nursing Supervisor will act as liaison to all health care professionals involved in your loved one’s care. She’s your primary contact, when you want to discuss health or medication concerns or be updated on any change in health status.

One of our nurses sees residents almost daily and is available for emergency care 24 hours per day. Residents’ families find our nurses to be invaluable resources as they

  • Monitor daily changes in each resident’s health
  • Manage medications and coordinate treatments
  • Clearly explain health care options and outcomes along the way

In-home Geriatric Care

Most of our residents’ families decide to transfer the medical care of their loved ones to one of the geriatricians who regularly visit each of our homes. These doctors address routine medical needs, examining residents in the comfort of their own rooms – not during stressful trips to an office or the hospital. Between “house calls,” our Nursing Supervisor regularly updates these doctors on the condition of each resident in his care.

You may choose to have your family doctor direct your loved one’s medical care. We can assist with transportation to office visits. Our Nursing Supervisor is happy to notify your doctor of changes in your loved one’s medical status as well as to discuss and coordinate any necessary changes to his or her health care plan.

Medication Management

As every family caregiver knows, managing a senior’s medications can be a complicated job. It’s one of the first tasks our nurses address when our staff develops a resident’s individualized health care plan. Our caregivers dispense prescribed medications according to procedures carefully developed by our nurses. Each of our Care Haven homes is staffed at all times by at least one Certified Medical Aide (CMA), licensed by the State of Kansas to dispense medication as prescribed by a physician. One of our nurses is available round-the-clock should medication concerns arise.

We do more than make sure residents take the right pill at the right time. We see that a licensed pharmacist performs a quarterly review of each resident’s drug regimen. This comprehensive review helps the care team determine whether a resident’s medications are providing the expected benefits or need to be adjusted to prevent potential harmful effects.

Continence Management

Many family members arranging for a loved one’s care worry that incontinence will be a problem. So we’ll speak frankly.

The loss of bladder or bowel control is common to seniors past the early stages of dementia and those struggling with impaired mobility. Social stigma and shame may keep them from welcoming visitors into their homes or venturing outside. Embarrassment often prevents seniors and their caregivers from discussing incontinence with health care professionals. Frustration and struggles with toilet assistance are leading contributors to family caregiver burnout.

At Care Haven, we understand that incontinence is a symptom of other health issues – weakened pelvic muscles, immobility, neurological conditions, constipation and dehydration or medication side effect, among others. We manage incontinence as we would any other health concern, with

  • Staffing and scheduling that permit close personal attention to an individual’s toileting needs
  • An intimate physical setting, which allows residents to quickly find their way to the bathroom and for caregivers to easily recognize a need for assistance
  • Removal of unnecessary barriers presented by physical obstacles or articles of clothing
  • Careful attention to changes in diet and medication
  • Close monitoring for early signs of constipation and urinary tract infections
  • Professional expertise in continence management techniques
  • Preservation of each resident’s comfort and dignity

A resident’s family may choose to provide a supply of disposable products for continence management. If the family prefers, we can purchase and maintain a supply of incontinence garments for the resident, then bill our cost based on monthly usage.

Diet

help-with-the-saladAll seniors need a healthy, balanced diet to stay strong longer, fighting off additional health problems. We pride ourselves on our delicious, home-cooked meals. We’ve gathered and serve many of our residents’ favorite family recipes – because we understand that if they don’t think the food tastes good, they won’t eat well. We routinely stock a special treat or two for those times when a resident might need a little encouragement.

While we’re making an effort to serve our residents’ comfort food favorites, we’re also doing a lot of work behind the scenes to meet any special dietary restrictions. We modify our recipes as needed. We keep each resident’s individual abilities in mind as we prepare his or her individual plate at our family-style table – working to preserve independence as much as possible, assisting whenever needed.

Time spent with residents at mealtime is a significant investment in their health and happiness. Eating together, unhurried, discourages the extreme eating behaviors of some dementias. It presents opportunities to bolster our residents’ confidence and social relationships, too, as caregivers encourage unpressured conversation as everyone lingers over the meal.

Outside Health Agencies

Many of our residents require ongoing physical, occupational or speech and language therapy. Others occasionally need lab work, x-rays or other diagnostic testing. Traveling to a strange clinic or hospital can be stressful and confusing for anyone, much less than for someone living with dementia. Whenever possible, we recommend that a resident undergo therapy or testing in the familiar surroundings of his or her Care Haven home. Nearly all residents are able to avoid the move to a skilled nursing facility by supplementing our expert, personal care with the specialized services of various outside health agencies.

Our Nursing Supervisor acts as liaison with the physicians who order these services and with the home health care agencies that perform them. We work with many different outside health agencies and are happy to coordinate services with the provider of your choice.

Dental Services

Dental-HygieneDental care is important at any age. Seniors’ oral health is at increased risk. A good hygienist can head off problems caused by decay, gum disease, ill-fitting dentures, medication side effects, infection and bacterial or fungal disease.

Unchecked, poor dental health can cause or aggravate serious medical conditions, including

  • Loss of appetite and eating disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Infection of the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease and stroke.

(For more detailed information, see The Mayo Clinic’s website and Web MD.)

A visit to the dentist is a challenge for many people. It can be especially frightening to those dealing with dementia.

To provide comforting dental care, we have partnered with a hygienist skilled at working with people with Alzheimer’s. She regularly brings a complete, traveling exam room into each of our homes. We can honestly say her rapport with residents is amazing.

Podiatry Services

Problems with the feet may signal the onset of serious medical conditions as we age: arthritis, diabetes, nerve issues and circulatory disorders, among others. Most of our residents benefit from the care of a podiatrist who regularly conducts clinics in our homes. He also makes additional, individual visits as needed. Residents receive treatment in the privacy of their own rooms.

Hospice Care

Hospice care provides special services to people who are nearing the end of their lives. The goal of hospice care is to alleviate pain and provide comfort – to ensure a peaceful environment and a dignified death.

Whenever able, we encourage residents to continue to live in familiar surroundings, with the assistance of a local hospice care provider, rather than to move to a hospital or skilled nursing facility at the end of life. Our nurses and caregivers are knowledgeable about the common symptoms and difficulties of advanced Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

  • They can help families make the most of their remaining time with a loved one while continuing to provide residents the warmth, kindness and comfort to which they’ve grown accustomed.
  • On occasion, our caregivers’ close monitoring may prevent an upsetting crisis and help extend a resident’s days – i.e., by discovering and addressing infections or other serious problems before they become life-threatening.

To receive hospice services, a physician must certify that a resident has a life expectancy of six months or less. We work with many different hospice care providers and are happy to coordinate services with the provider of your choice.

Our Nursing Supervisor liaisons with the physician and an interdisciplinary team of specially trained hospice care providers – which usually includes doctors, outside nurses and aides, social workers, counselors, clergy and/or volunteers. This expanded care team works collaboratively to make each day safer and more comfortable for the resident, who continues to receive the close attention of familiar people in familiar surroundings.

Personal Care

Care-Haven-Caregiving-Staff-HairAll of our residents receive close, personal attention as we assist them with bathing, dressing and grooming. We want them – and their families – to be proud of their appearance.

We provide laundry and housekeeping services to be certain their clothing and surroundings remain clean, safe and attractive as well.

For the convenience of our residents, we arrange for a licensed, professional hair stylist to visit our homes on a regular schedule. Residents may schedule appointments for cuts, trims, colors and perms.