Families may make a decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home after years of wrestling over the decision to enlist the assistance of full-time residential care services. For other families, a sudden and drastic health crisis forces a family into decision-making faster than they are comfortable with. Regardless of the circumstances that bring families to a final decision of choosing nursing home care, it’s a decision that can be traumatic for families.
In hearing stories of nursing home care deficiencies and elder abuse in the media and elsewhere, families struggle with fear about making placement decisions for their parents or other aging people. Families are looking for assurance that their loved ones will get the best care and be safe.
While the cost of living in Madison tends to be high, the city enjoys a thriving senior community with an array of quality nursing home care.
Nursing care spans an array of medical, personal, and social services that are coordinated to meet the physical, social, and emotional needs of chronically ill people, including the elderly. Nursing care responds to the need for people who require 24-hour medical care or supervision. Many people think of nursing care as being a full-time residential care facility for people with chronic, major health needs. That notion is only partially true. Nursing homes can be much more than that.
Nursing homes also offer short-term rehabilitative care. People who have been hospitalized may not need the full level of care that hospitals provide, but they may need more care than can be adequately provided in the home setting. Many nursing homes offer transitional services that provide nursing care according to the patient’s needs in a less restrictive setting until the patient can return home.
Some nursing homes also offer respite care for families. It gives families a chance to take a vacation, tend to their own families’ issues, or just take a break.
Nursing homes may also offer adult day care programs and specialized programs for seniors who live with symptoms of dementia. Day programs allow primary caregivers the opportunity to work and tend to other life responsibilities.
It’s a good idea to compare nursing homes to make sure that the facility is a good fit and that the individual will be comfortable, happy, and well taken care of. Online searches are a good start, but family members should always request a tour of the facilities. It’s a chance to get acquainted with staff and see how the facility operates on a daily basis.
The federal government offers an online service for family members called Nursing Home Compare. Visit this site and input the city of Madison to find nursing homes in your area that accept Medicaid. Check ratings on health inspections, quality measures, staffing, and review an overall rating of the facilities. Use the compare feature for a side-by-side comparison of up to three facilities.
Another comprehensive resource for finding quality nursing homes is SeniorAdvisor.com. Their directory lists nine nursing home listings in the Madison area. Scroll through the listings to see a description of services and amenities. The listings include contact information and photos. SeniorAdvisor.com posts verified ratings by consumers with first-person experience. Consumer reviews provide insight about cleanliness, food service, activities, administration practices, and quality of care.
The Board on Aging and Long-Term Care is Wisconsin’s premier resource for information and advocacy. The board is committed to defending the values of respect and dignity for individuals by protecting their rights to be free from threats to health, safety, and quality of life. The board also advocates for fairness, transparency, and communication that is open, clear, and consistent. In 1973, Wisconsin was named as one of seven states to pilot a nursing home Ombudsman Program through the Department of Health and Human Services.
Since then, the Board on Aging and Long-Term Care Program has made continual progress towards its mission to advocate for people who need long-term care by educating the public about health care systems and advocating for their rights. Staff and volunteers on the board operate three programs including: Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Volunteer Ombudsman, Medigap Helpline Services.
The contact information for the Board on Aging and Long-Term Care is:
State of Wisconsin - Board on Aging & Long Term Care
1402 Pankratz Street, Suite 111
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
1-800-815-0015 Ombudsman Program/Volunteer Program
1-800-242-1060 Medigap Helpline
1-855-677-2783 Medigap Part D & Prescription Drug Helpline
Email: [email protected]
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