for an Assisted Living Community, but
nametags are important.
“I’m not bragging about our own facility,”
says Martinez of her own community,
Parmer Woods Retirement & Assisted
Living, “but people comment all the time
about that first impression when they
walk into my building, go on the tour, and
acknowledge that they like what they see.”
NURSING CARE FACILITIES
A Nursing Care Facility (NCF) is a state
licensed, private-care facility that provides
24-hour skilled hospital care for residents
who do not require hospitalization but
cannot be cared for at home. Also called
Long Term Care Facilities, the majority
of nursing homes are staffed by caring,
trained persons who provide an excellent
level of service for their residents.
It pays to shop around when selecting a
NCF. Seniors should consult with a trusted
doctor or health care practitioner for recommendations of nearby facilities. Plan on
visiting at least four or five area facilities,
and make an appointment with the administrator or director of nursing. Check to make
sure that information provided is consistent
with information gathered during the facility
tour. Discrepancies between provided information and your own observations indicate
possible problems later on. A nursing care
facility should have clean floors, and a clean
smell. Facilities with dirty floors and a sour
smell do not put a high priority on cleanliness, and should not be considered.
Ask to see the compliance survey report
prepared by the State of Texas on the
considered facility. The report will list
deficiencies found in resident care during
routine inspections, and the facility’s effort
to correct the problem. Under Texas law,
nursing homes must make this and other
survey compliance reports available upon
request, as well as provide an accessible
and well-lit place for review.
Another option available is to call the
Texas Department of Human Services at
800-458-9858. While state law prohibits
agency employees from recommending
one facility over another, they can answer
the following TDHS recommended ques-
tions about any such facility:
terminations in the past two years?
in the past year?
have been found to be valid?
in the past two years?
have been cited in the past two years?
and what was the purpose of the visit?
facilities recommended for license
The answers to these questions, combined with
observations and impressions made during
facility tours and staff interviews will ease the
task of selecting the right nursing care facility.
ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA
Residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease
or another form of dementia need specialized
care. Assisted Living Facilities offer services
and separate facilities for residents with early
onset symptoms, but because of the progressive nature of the disease, it may become
necessary to transfer the resident to another
facility that can provide more appropriate care.
Facilities specializing in the treatment of
Alzheimer’s and dementia should provide
a treatment plan that takes into account not
only the resident’s medical needs, but also
the needs of the entire family with social
services and professional consultations and
individualized treatment reviews. Emphasis
within the facility should be placed on
providing a calming, soothing environment
that is sensitive to the needs of the patient.
Please visit the Area Agency on Aging of
The Capital Area at www.aaacap.org for
additional information on care for the elderly.
AUSTIN AREA ACTIVE ADULT
4805 Big Bend, Georgetown 78628