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What type of assisted facilities should we look at for a comatose family member?

Posted by Lilly2955

Hello - I have a friend who is comatose in Los Angeles California.  I believe her insurance will no longer cover the rehabiliation center where she is at the moment and her family is looking for options.  What type of facilities should they be looking for?

They will need to move her by the end of this month.

Answers (2)
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Hi Lilly,

For a person who is comotose an assisted living facility is not a good option.  You need to direct her family to look at nursing homes, and the sooner they can start looking, the better.  Finding a quality nursing home isn't easy but they do exist.  Here are a couple of tips that may help them:

1) Be completely honest and open about the person's care and condition.  It is natural for families to hedge the truth a little in describing care needs.  Sometimes that's because it is tough to admit; other times it's because the family worries that their loved one won't be acceptable.  Be brutally honest, however - if it is a fit and your loved one is in even better condition than you've described the facility will be happy.  If, on the other hand, you make it sound better than it is you may well be faced with the dreaded phone call telling you to find another place - now.  Honesty and openness set the stage for a good working relationship in the future - and they'll need that.

2) Many places have waiting lists.  This does NOT mean they are the best fit for the person needing care, however.  Don't assume that having a waiting list means the quality is good - waiting lists can be due to many other factors (like lower rates, more medicaid availability or insurance contracts).  Try to ignore the sense of urgency to get the person on someone's waiting list as soon as possible, and weigh other factors, too.

3) Staff turnover and training are some of the key indicators to quality care.  Ask every caregiver you see how long they have been working there.  If you hear no answer longer than 3 months, cross that facility off the list (unless they just opened 3 months ago).  If you consistently hear 1-2 years as an answer, put that facility to the top of your list, even if it isn't as shiny and new as another facility.  Consistency in care is so important for detecting minor changes and responding to them quickly and appropriately.  Training is another indicator.  Ask caregivers you meet randomly if they have the training they need to do the best job they can.  Not "minimum training" but "optimal training."  Good facilities invest in training their staff every single month and their staff demonstrate the results in improved care.

Most importantly, as a friend be prepared to simply listen and offer your support.  Nothing about this process is easy.  Your friend will need your support and encouragement.  Good luck.

Sharon K. Brothers, MSW

For somone who is comatose, assisted facilities is not the way to go. many things can go wrong for someone who can't help themselves. This calls for professional diagnosis, this would be the better thing to do.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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