October 13, 2015

The First 30 Minutes in a Nursing Home are Crucial

By Mike Ferrick, Executive Director, Leonard Florence Center for Living
It can be difficult to put yourself in the shoes of a nursing home resident, unless you’ve experienced the situation yourself. Often, our residents come from major Boston hospitals after a stay that can be as short as 3 days. Before they know it, they find themselves in an ambulance on their way to a Skilled Nursing Facility. This will be their new short-term, or sometimes even long-term, home.
Although this transition process from hospital to facility is not always enjoyable, we at the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare are committed to improving the resident transition experience. We know it can be a traumatic experience and we want to make it as seamless as possible. For us, it’s really important make the transition from hospital to our facilities a very positive experience for each of our residents. Clearly, we understand the process and recognize that the first 30 minutes in a nursing home are crucial for the resident – and their families.
The First 30 Minutes:
Greet the resident at the door (5 minutes)
When a resident arrives, we know it’s comforting for them to know we are expecting their arrival. Our staff is prepared beforehand; we know the resident’s name, the room they are going to and the reason they are at our facility. When the resident arrives, we always introduce ourselves and welcome them to their new “home.”
Accompany the resident to their room (5 minutes)
Our job isn’t over simply because we’ve greeted the resident at the door. We make sure they are always accompanied to their room by a member of the facility’s team. This ensures that the residents gets to the correct location, and also allows us to answer any questions the resident may have right away.
Familiarize the resident with the room (10 minutes)
Once the resident has arrived at their room, we explain the room’s features, which include how the TV works, the phone system and how to use the call bell. These are all things that some people assume a resident would know, but most often, they do not. Taking the time to explain the layout of the room and the features not only comforts the resident, but also reduces the risk of falls.
Introduce the team (10 minutes)
After settling a resident in his or her room, it’s important they meet the staff responsible for their care. Our nurses and aides always come into the room and introduce themselves to the resident. This establishes very real personal relationships. Our goal is to make sure the resident knows there is a trained team of caring people available to support them.
At the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, we are always striving to improve our residents’ experiences. These first 30 minutes are just the beginning of a supportive and nurturing experience. We sincerely hope our efforts are evident from the moment you walk through our front door!