Transitioning from assisted living to a skilled nursing facility

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Ron D'Aquila
Ron D'Aquila

While many people move permanently to a skilled nursing home, some facilities provide an important level of temporary care necessary for the transition of patients back to their own homes. Nursing facilities often partner with Assisted Living Services, Inc. and Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. in Meriden, CT, to ensure that patients can safely and successfully complete their rehabilitation with support.

We appreciate the opportunity to be part of a transition team approach with the skilled nursing facility when patients are discharged home. The technologies available can reduce anxiety for both families and the patients upon their return home.

One of the most important issues with any patient discharge is that they are compliant with medications.  Automated medication dispensers have been very effective at improving compliance. These devices send both a visual and auditory alert to remind the patient to take their medication and if they do not - a call or a message can be sent to the client or caregiver which can assist in promoting compliance.

Remote monitoring systems can identify if a senior is not getting enough rest or far too sedentary for long periods each day. Sensors placed discretely throughout a home can evaluate the individual's daily routine and identify problems before they lead to emergencies. For example, someone who usually goes to the bathroom once each night may suddenly need to visit it numerous times. In this situation, an alert would be sent to the caregiver, who can then seek medical intervention by a physician for a potential urinary tract infection.

For seniors who want to be active, but are worried about falls or accidents, Assisted Living Technologies offers mobile personal emergency response devices that use GPS and two-way communications. This allows them the freedom to go for visits or walks with the assurance that emergency help is available at the simple push of a button.

When a patient does make the permanent move to a long-term care facility, reducing the risk of falls is a major concern for staff and residents alike. There are products that use wireless sensor technology that can alert caregivers when a resident is attempting to ambulate on their own. There is also one that reminds patient with a recorded message to not forget to use their walker when he or she is about to try to stand up. Other devices can be used to help reduce the risk of wandering, another major concern.

Ron D'Aquila, RN, is the owner of Assisted Living Services, Inc. He can be reached by calling 203-235-TECH.

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