Common Questions - Skilled Nursing

elderly woman putting a puzzle together with another woman

What You Should Know

Below are some answers to frequent questions we hear from families who are considering bringing their loved one into our skilled nursing facility.

Can I bring my pet or my loved one's pet in?

As long as your pet is well-behaved and has had all the necessary vaccines, we encourage you to bring them in. Please ask if your pet is something other than a cat or a dog.

Can I join my loved one for meals?

Yes. You are welcome to visit at meal times or bring in special food for your loved one. We are able to provide guest trays for you and your family for a small fee from our cafeteria. Please let the nurse know ahead of time if you wish to do this.

What are some of the diets that are typically ordered by the doctor?

Your loved one will probably be on one of three diets when they arrive. General textured diets are provided when there are no chewing or swallowing problems present. Mechanical soft textured diets provide smaller pieces of fruits/vegetables and groups meats for easier chewing. Pureed textured diets provide the same foods as offered on the general menu but are mechanically altered to a smooth consistency for minimal chewing and safe swallowing.

If my loved one’s condition deteriorates, am I able to enroll them in hospice services?

Yes. Our team will coordinate with the hospice program of your choice and they will come and provide services as they would in your own home. Please talk to your social worker about making a referral and/or discussing other end of life options, such as comfort care and palliative care.

Can I attend activity programs or therapy sessions?

You are welcomed and encouraged to attend either activity programs or therapy sessions. We highly recommend this as it is a good way to spend quality time with your loved one.

Can I take my loved one out with me? How?

This has to be a personal decision, best made by you with input from us. After the initial adjustment period, residents tend to refer to us as “home” and usually want to return after being away for about 2-3 hours. Sometimes going out can be overwhelming and can leave the resident feeling anxious or overloaded.

If you do decide to take them out, we ask that you talk with the nurse before just to make sure everything can be in order for you. We highly encourage you to do special things with them like going out to eat, or going home for Thanksgiving meal if appropriate. They will need to return within 24 hours. Please see your Social Worker for more details.

When can I visit or call?

You are welcome to visit or call at any time of the day. We have staff working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year who are always willing to answer a question, so if you wake up at 2:00 a.m. and are wondering what your mother ate for breakfast, by all means, call and ask or come visit!

Should I expect to see improvements in my loved one’s dementia once they are on a specialized dementia care unit?

No. Our specialized dementia care program focuses on a special care environment that supports your loved one’s maximum cognitive function and abilities, behavior, and independence while ensuring their safety. Although the disease gradually gets worse as more cells are damaged and destroyed in the brain, research has shown that effective care and support can improve the quality of life over the course of the disease.