In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson shares 3 tips on how you can assist a loved one with receiving the best possible care while they are in a nursing home.
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson from Dent-Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and region from our offices in St. Louis across from Westport Plaza and in O’Fallon, Illinois near the new St. Elizabeth’s hospital, and this is your Elder Law Minute. If you’re a regular viewer of these videos, you know that I don’t always talk about strictly legal topics, intentionally. We know that there is more to Elder Law and caring for elders than just the legal issues, and we want to help any way that we can. So, with that in mind, what I want to do today is share with you some practical tips if you have a loved one in a nursing home for making sure that they’re going to get the best possible care.
Tip #1: From my experience talking with clients, the great majority of nursing home residents have someone there on staff whom I like to call their “guardian angel” – somebody who takes a liking for them, (and) takes primarily responsibility for their care. Once you’ve identified that person, you want to treat them like a queen or a king. Send them cards for no reason, buy them flowers, buy them chocolates, remember birthday. If you will, that’s going to be your in-house lobbyist. That’s going to be the person who is going to talk to other people, talk to staff, and make sure your loved one gets what they need.
Second suggestion: So that the staff doesn’t feel left out by your showering favors of the guardian angel, is if you remember the Little Caesar’s commercial, “5 bucks, 5 bucks, 5 bucks” – Let me tell you, $20 – $25 worth of pizza, donuts, cookies, whatever, with a note from the family of whatever your loved one’s name is, “thanks for taking good care of them,” can go a long way towards spreading good will and you know what, people remember that. That gets your loved one treated a little more nicely because they don’t want to let that nice family down.
Third one: I am going to get into law a little bit here. And that is, the Power of Care conference. Under the law, if you see any change in your loved one’s condition or have any problems with their care, you have the right to call a care conference. And if there are problems, you want to do that. You don’t want to scream and shout, but you want to have a meeting with the people at the facility to make sure that everyone knows what your concerns are, and to have them tell you what they’re going to do to make sure that whatever problem occurred isn’t going to happen again, and that your loved one is going to continue to receive the best care that they’re capable of giving.
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Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 or (314) 567-9292, or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.