That's easy! Your first step is to call the nursing home you'd like to serve and ask to speak with the activities director. Ask if there are any churches or volunteers providing spiritual support. From there, you can determine if the care home could use Bible study materials, music, Bibles, devotional books, etc. You can ask if they are currently permitting any form of group religious service or activity and how often they'd like to do so. (Covid restrictions vary from facility to facility.) Be sure to ask if there are any residents who would love a visitor.
Technically, no. A nursing home cannot bar unvaccinated persons from visiting a resident one-on-one. They may require that volunteers who are working with several residents at once be "up to date" with their vaccines. Additionally, they may require that unvaccinated visitors or volunteers only engage with residents outdoors or that they wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Faithful Friends Kentucky encourages anyone who plans to work with the elderly to consider getting vaccinated. We believe you should pray about it and consult with your physician. Given the vulnerable population we serve, we want to protect both the residents and our ability to have access to those residents. But we leave all such decisions up to the individual.
It only takes one! If you are interested in working with nursing home residents, you do not need a big team. Remember, we got our start with just a husband and wife going in and visiting. Do not underestimate the value of one person going to visit one resident.
It is also possible for one person to lead a small group of residents in a Bible study or have a Sunday school class. To be able to offer these things frequently, it would be wise to have more than one person leading in order to avoid burnout. But it's certainly very possible for one person to minister in this way. We would suggest a team of 4-6 volunteers who can rotate and work together to serve one care home.
We often hear folks say, "Our church just doesn't have the budget for a new ministry right now." The good news is, it really doesn't cost any money to start. The most important things residents need- visits, prayer, scripture- those things are free!
If you'd like to offer things like hymn singing and Sunday school, there are many free resources available. If you need to purchase a cd player, cds, hymnals, or Bibles...those things will obviously cost a little. Maybe you can borrow a cd player or find someone to play guitar for you. You don't need a big sound system or a worship band. Remember how Jesus taught- He walked and talked with people.
If you decide to provide residents with material things, even these can all be donated. Ask church members or friends to help collect items you'd like to donate. Having the church support your efforts financially certainly helps, but it is not necessary and should not be a deterrent to getting started.
Often, the terms "nursing home" and "assisted living" are used interchangeably. They are not the same thing, but are both types of long-term care. In Kentucky, there are different levels of long-term care, which basically breaks down to the way a facility or section of the facility is licensed and certified.
Assisted living facilities are not licensed and do not accept Medicare or Medicaid. They sometimes take long-term care insurance but are generally private pay. They offer minimal assistance with daily living activities, meals and snacks, and self-administration of medicines. They do not offer nursing care. They are essentially for senior adults who primarily need community and socialization.
Personal care homes are licensed by the state and do accept some forms of state supplement benefits. They provide continuous supervision of residents, basic health-related services, personal care services, and social and recreational activities.
Skilled nursing facilities are what most people know as "nursing homes." They are licensed by the state and most accept Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, and other forms of LTC insurance. They provide the highest level of care including therapy, assistance with activities of daily living, management of medications, custodial and restorative nursing care.
For more info, please visit: https://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/nursing-home-care
This video answers the question, "What's the difference between assisted living and a nursing home?"
This video answers the question, "How do I talk to a nursing home resident?"
In skilled nursing facilities, not all the residents are elderly and not all are there to stay. Some residents are only there to receive rehabilitation therapies. and will return home once they are able. Some residents, though not senior citizens, are in nursing homes due to a variety of health needs which require high level, 24 hour care.
The average nursing home in Kentucky costs $6,900 per month, and many private insurance plans do not cover long-term stays. Therefore, most residents end up enrolled in Medicaid to cover the costs beyond what their own assets, retirement, and social security will provide. As such, residents are allotted a monthly allowance, which is usually $30 a month.
At the most basic level, yes, nursing homes supply residents' needs. But remember, these are usually for-profit facilities, so they're going to use the cheapest and least amount of supplies. It's not uncommon for residents to run out of tissues, adult diapers, lotion, or shampoo. Residents are often lacking socks, shoes, pajamas, or clothing. Losing things like their glasses, dentures, or hearing aids happens all too often. So their monthly allowance has to cover anything "extra" such as haircuts, snacks, new socks, shoes, and other personal items that we take for granted, such as perfume, makeup, electric razors, name brand lotions or shampoos, notepads or pens. Some nursing homes do not provide in-room phones and so the residents is responsible for purchasing his or her own cell phone. Their allowance doesn't go very far.
According to federal law, nursing homes are not required to have a physician on site at all times. Most facilities employ nurse practitioners and have a physician who serves as medical director check in and oversee the nurse practitioner from time to time.
Federal law requires that nursing homes provide "adequate" staff, which includes ONE licensed nurse 8 hours a day. Yes, that's one nurse for the entire facility. Most nursing homes will employ more than one, but their primary caregivers are CNA's (certified nursing assistants).
Ombudsman is a Swedish word for advocate. In Kentucky, there are 15 ombudsmen, one for each development district. The ombudsman is often the only voice a resident has. It's the job of the ombudsman to protect the rights of nursing home residents and to identify, investigate and resolve residents complaints.
For more info, please visit: https://ombuddy.org/