Friday, September 30, 2016

Eldercare Nursing Assessments: Why? How? And the Cost?

If your aging parent needs care, chances are you'll hear the word assessment.  And possibly something about a charge.   I've had several clients recently ask, "What's with the extra cost?  I'm already paying a big monthly fee."

Here's the skinny on assessments: why, how and cost.

WHY?  Assessments are like entrance exams for services and care.  That includes in-home care, assisted living, adult family homes and nursing homes. 

HOW?  A professional, usually a Registered Nurse or a Social Worker, asks key questions about your parent's care and medical history.  Some samples: Is your parent incontinent?  Does your parent have memory loss and if so, how does that affect day to day life?  Does he or she need help with bathing, dressing or transferring from a chair to standing?  What kind of care, if any, is he or she receiving now?

The assessor also obtains information from your parent's doctor and from recent hospitalizations and nursing home stays.

Your parent gets to chime in, too, if that is appropriate.  If at all possible, the assessment is done in person.

Gathering information helps determine the amount of care needed, whether the provider can meet those needs, and if so, what will be the cost.

COST?  For in-home care through an agency, there is no cost.for an assessment. For assisted living, the community's nurse does the assessment at no direct charge, although it may be part of a required move-in fee.  No assessment fee for nursing homes, either.  Adult family homes in Washington State also require assessments.  Currently assessing nurses charge between $350 and $400 to do an in-person visit as well as inputting information into a State-mandated document.

Another word in your eldercare vocabulary mastered!

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