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Help for the Alzheimer's Families and Care Givers

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The decison to commit a loved one to a nursing home for their future care is an agonizing and emotional undertaking with many ramifications and concerns. The caregiver may debate and question the decision they have made for the next several years or perhaps for the caregiver's lifetime. If the loved one involved is the caregivers spouse who was deeply loved, feelings of guilt and questions on the correctness of the decision made, may be even more intense.

 

 

For the story of this caregiver's decision, the history and factors leading up to the decision and the resulting aftermath, click on the following link:

 

The Nursing Home Decision and June!

 

  

The following references and sources will be of help in the more practical aspects of making the selection.

 

 

1.  Selecting a proper care facility for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s can be both challenging and difficult. Below are suggested reference sources and information that is available from both the Federal Government and the Minnesota Department of Health..

   a. The Federal Government has set up a Federal rating system for Nursing Homes so that an individual wanting to select a nursing home would have a comparison source to compare the Government's Medicare and Medicaid approved Nursing Home Facilities. It is called "Nursing Home Compare". This program is operated by the U.S. Government's "Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services."

The system is called Five Star Quality Rating System. The highest rating possible is 5 stars. The lowest rating possible is 1 Star. They define the highest and lowest as:
 
Nursing Homes with 5 Stars are considered to have much above average quality and nursing homes with 1 star are considered to have quality much below average.
 
The 5 star rating is applied to 4 areas. 1. Overall Rating, 2. Health Inspections, 3. Nursing Home Staffing and 4. Quality Measures.
 
Here is the link to the Federal Five Star Quality Rating System:
 
 
 

      b.  The Minnesota Department of Health has a site devoted to helping a family or a caregiver in selecting an appropriate nursing home facility for a loved one. This site lets you select a nursing home within a chosen number of miles of a zip code. It also rates Nursing homes with what they call a “Nursing Home Report Card.” It allows you to choose the factors or quality measures that are the most important to you. The Nursing homes are scored in seven quality measures with a score of one through five for each measure. One is the lowest and five is the highest. Click on:.

 

 (Nursing Home Report Card)

  Note: For a practical and detailed discussion on the selection of a nursing home and for the "Care, Comfort Considerations" on a day to day basis for loved ones in nursing homes, click on the below care practice essay:

 "Care Comnfort Considerations in Alzheimer's Facilities"

      b.  State Inspections and Surveys. The State of Minnesota , Department of Health under a “cooperative agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is responsible for ensuring that the facilities accepting Medicare and Medicaid payment for services, meet federal regulations and certification rules. The surveys "evaluate the quality of care and services provided as well as the appropriateness of the facility’s building, equipment, staffing, policies, procedures and finances.” The results of the surveys are available for your review and inspection. Click on:

  (Nursing Home Survey Inspection Findings)

 

 2,  Nursing Homes and Problem Resolutions:  You may find you’re self in a situation where you feel that you must file a complaint in regard to the care received by your loved one in an Alzheimer’s facility or nursing home. If you are at a point where you have exhausted all efforts to deal with the facility or nursing home and need additional help resolving your problem, links are provided to file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Health or to request help from the Ombudsman for Older Minnesotan's at the Minnesota Department of the Aged. If you feel that your problem involves consumer fraud, you may want to contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s Department and file a complaint with that department. Cick On:

 

 (Filing a Complaint with the Minnesota Department of Health.)

 

 (Contacting the Ombudsman for Older Minnesotan’s)

 

 (Contacting the Minnesota Attorney General’s Department.)

 

 3.  This web site (June K. Berg, Alzheimer’s)  is also a rich source of information about Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s care giving. Refer to the navigation menus for a variety of information. See the top Navigation bar and menu item - Click this link::

 

June and Alzheimer’s

 

See the center Navigation Bar and menu itemd ”About Alzheimer"s". This item gives you access to a video and a Power Point Presentation that details the story of Alzheimer’s. The same navigation bar menu items “Care Practices” and “Alzheimer’s Drugs” with their own sub menus have much practical information for both the family of an Alzheimer’s victim as well as the care giver. Click on this link:

 

"About Alzheimer's"

 

  4.  See also the following additional resource sites:   Click on the below desired links:

 

 

  Alzheimer’s Association

 

  Alzheimer’s Society

 

National Institute on Aging's website on Alzheimer's

 

U.S.Dept. of Health & Human Services - Alzheimer's

 

The below link to the Minnesota Department of Health goes directly to their Alzheimer's site. The State of Minnesota established this site only after much lobbying in behalf of such a site. Commissioner Mandernach's letter to me on 2 August 2007 states: "I want to thank you for your persistence.....I have directed our Health Promotion and Chronic Disease division to add information on Alzheimer's to our web page. This will be done by Septemeber 4, 2007. The page will also include links to other resources...

(Minnesota Department of Health - Alzheimer's)

5.  Your Local Church: Most churches have racks of literature or publications for the members of the church and the church guests. Frequently the church will have a rack of "Care Notes". These helpful little pamphlets are available at no cost for the members of the church or guests of the church...examples of typical care notes are:

One "Care Note" pamphlet on Alzheimer's has an outline of suggestions and helps for the Alzheimer's family.  "Ten Helps for an Alzheimer's Family". 

A second  "Care Note" pamphlet on Alzheimer's suggests how a family can deal witha member having Alzheimer's. "When Alzheimer's "Steals" the Loved One You Knew"  keep in mind! 

A third "Care Note" pamphlet on Alzheimer's has general information on Alzheimer's and Dementia.. "What Everyone Should Know About Dementia.

The care notes are continually being updated...

In addition, your church may offer counseling services for the Alzheimer's family. Most churches will have a visitation's pastor who regularly calls on the senior members of the church and on the sick. Most churches have a "Senior Ministry" oriented to the needs of the senior members of the church!

Redeemer Church  Window

I am a member of the Redeemer Lutheran Church at 61 Mississippi Way NE, Fridley, MN 55432. This is the same church where my wife June and I have been members for over 50 years.

Our senior Pastor, John Niewald would like to extend a warm welcome to anyone residing or visiting in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) Metropolitan area, to attend any of our (four) traditional or contemporary Sunday morning services and avail themselves (without charge) of any of the "Care Notes" or other literature on display in the front commons area of the church.

Our church staff in addition to a "Senior Ministry" also has a "Pastoral Care" minister (Pastor Harley Schmitt) who visits, counsels with and otherwise attends the spiritual needs of the seniors, the sick and others.

Pastor Harley is very familiar with Alzheimer's disease as his father was also a victim of this terrible disease.

For more information, please visit the website of this dynamic, vibrant and friendly church at:  (Click on) 

 Redeemer Lutheran Church - Fridley 

 

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June's Passing

June 1994

The "Memoriam" article published in the Minneapolis Star - Tribune following June's death in October 2008, can be seen on this website by clicking  the below link. It can also be found on the website on the top navigation strip of the home page under the "In Memoriam" label:

"June K. (Rolstad) Berg - In Memoriam".