Category Archives: Blog

Q&A: Telemetry and Tele-Health Can Make an Immediate and Interactive Difference for Residents 

Q&A: Telemetry and Tele-Health Can Make an Immediate and Interactive Difference for Residents 

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21st Century healthcare is about making the right connections, at the right time, to provide the best quality of care. The goal is to seamlessly link nursing home residents, physicians and advanced registered nurse practitioners to remote medical specialists through collaborative virtual care, including video conferencing.

Plaza Health Network’s seven South Florida rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities are rolling out this interactive technology to allow rapid, real-time, remote physician monitoring of patients utilizing the latest technological advances.

In this Q&A, Ann-Lynn Denker, PhD, ARNP, Chief Clinical Officer at Plaza Health Network, explains how telemetry can improve the quality of nursing home care, enhance patient comfort by minimizing the disruption of traveling to a hospital or medical specialist, while reducing costs for hospitals by decreasing unnecessary hospital readmissions.   Read More

Five Tips to Keep the Holidays Special for a Nursing Home Resident

Five Tips to Keep the Holidays Special for a Nursing Home Resident

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With the holidays approaching, many people get even busier than usual, adding the hustle and bustle of the season to all their normal day-to-day activities. Nevertheless, most still find time to celebrate holiday traditions important to them and their loved ones.

When people recovering from an illness or injury find themselves in a nursing home this time of year, they might worry about missing cherished traditions with friends and family. How can you help?

Take action. You can prevent your loved one from feeling isolated or excluded.  Here are some tips to get you started on making the season brighter and more memorable for everyone.

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Rights of Florida Nursing Home Residents Protected by Multiple Rules and Regulations

Rights of Florida Nursing Home Residents Protected by Multiple Rules and Regulations

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When you or a loved one enter a skilled nursing facility for care, you are entitled to certain rights as a patient. Nursing homes will explain these rights before or at the time of admission, and new residents sign a form acknowledging they understand their legal protections.

Protecting patient privacy, quality of life and personal dignity are some of the reasons federal and state governments establish minimum nursing home rights.

Skilled nursing facilities accredited by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare, for example, need to follow federal rules outlining patient rights. These rights include being able to participate in activities, get treatment free from discrimination, and remain fully informed about your or your loved one’s medical condition and all medications and supplements. The Social Security Act also requires nursing homes to protect and promote the rights of its residents, including the right to ensure dignity, privacy, confidentiality, and respect.

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Recognize the Early Signs of Dementia – and Know When to Seek Residential Care

Recognize the Early Signs of Dementia – and Know When to Seek Residential Care

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It is not always easy to tell the signs of dementia from normal, age-related changes in memory and mood. But when you notice symptoms in a loved one getting progressively worse and starting to impact daily life, it may be time to find out more.

Although early symptoms can vary from person to person, the 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease is a good place to start.  If these symptoms of memory loss, confusion or social withdrawal on the Alzheimer’s Association list seem familiar or leave any doubt, consult a physician.

Early detection can lead to earlier treatments. Medications can slow progression of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Another benefit of taking action early is together choosing the right place for residential services, should the need arise in the future. That way, a skilled nursing facility will not seem completely unfamiliar, which can be disorienting to someone with more advanced dementia. Read More

Nurse Practitioner

Florida Nurse Practitioners are Leading the Charge to Elevate their Profession and Patient Care

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It’s a story of hard work, commitment and tenacity. Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs), often referred to as nurse practitioners, are making significant strides in Florida, expanding their scope of practice, assuming health care leadership roles, and reaping the benefits of decades of work striving for a greater understanding and acceptance of the profession.

As a nurse practitioner myself, now serving in a leadership role as Chief Clinical Officer of Plaza Health Network’s rehabilitation and skilled nursing centers in Miami, I took time to reflect on this progress in a recent article for the health care publication Advance for NPs and PAs. The article focuses on the landmark “Future of Nursing” report by the Institute of Medicine, and Florida’s progress on implementing the report authors’ recommendations. It reminded me of how much we have achieved, and also how much more there is to do.

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Respiratory Therapy Can Help Nursing Home Residents Breathe Easier

Respiratory Therapy Can Help Nursing Home Residents Breathe Easier

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As skilled nursing facilities, we strive to provide the best recovery for all patients who come into our care. For some people, skilled respiratory therapy services can help improve outcomes. That’s often the case when a patient arrives with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), moderate-to-severe asthma or another breathing disorder, or needs breathing help while recovering from an injury or surgery. In addition, physical therapy may assist in building body strength as well.

For nursing home residents who appreciate receiving specialized treatment in the same facility where they are staying, having respiratory therapy services onsite can be a great convenience.

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Jackson Plaza

How to Find the Best Nursing Homes: A Checklist

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Choosing the best nursing home for yourself or a loved one is always an important decision. Take the time to carefully explore your options, research the quality and costs involved, and tour the skilled nursing facilities on your short list.

What else should you consider? To help, we compiled a handy checklist to make sure you do not overlook anything — and remember to ask the right questions.

When starting the search for the right facility for you or a loved one, consider the following.

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staycation

Take a Successful Summer Staycation with Your Loved One in a Nursing Home

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When you have a loved one in a nursing home, it can be very challenging to continue summer traditions like family vacations. But there are creative ways to enjoy time off together. If you live too far away to visit your loved one as often as you wish you could, a ‘staycation’ near the facility can provide quality time with family and a meaningful experience for everyone.

Time with family improves the well-being of residents in nursing homes, research shows. Relatives often help with grooming, cheering up the resident and engaging them in meaningful conversations. With the family together, it’s also a good time to reminisce. Studies also show these conversations help nursing home residents improve their satisfaction and overall psychological well-being. In some cases, you may be able to take the nursing home resident for an outing to a restaurant or other local destination.

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Music

Personalized Music Invigorates Many Skilled Nursing Residents with Cognitive Challenges

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Sometimes a new program works so well for skilled nursing residents at one Plaza Health Network facility that we feel compelled to expand it to others. This way, more people in our care can reap the benefits.

That’s the case with the new ‘Music & Memory’ program, recently launched at South Pointe Plaza on Miami Beach. Staff, families and loved ones there report that providing personalized music to residents with dementia and other memory conditions improves awareness, mobility, socialization and overall temperament. Providing patients with the music they love the most is key – it triggers positive emotions that can improve their day-to-day mood and interactions.

“It is a great pleasure to observe the residents smiling while listening to their personalized playlists. They are more interactive with each other, more energetic and happier all around!” says Rachel Schuster, MPA, NHA, the Administrator at South Pointe Plaza who first embraced the initiative. “Music & Memory is enhancing their quality of life which, at the end of the day, is one of our primary objectives.” Read More

Paying for Skilled Nursing Facility Care with Medicare Part A Insurance

Paying for Skilled Nursing Facility Care with Medicare Part A Insurance

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Medicare covers many different aspects of health care. One critical component affects short term or long term care in a Skilled Nursing Facility or SNF.

Medicare is the cherished program of most, if not all, of its beneficiaries. Once an individual achieves the right to this coverage, he or she does not want to lose the right to Medicare coverage. Even people who oppose “big government” or “entitlements” (usually for other people) are quick to say: “Don’t touch my Medicare.”

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