FAQs
FAQs - Touchstone Communities FAQs - Touchstone Communities

Frequently Asked Questions

Resources for You

We understand that when considering long-term care for a loved one or finding short-term rehabilitation for yourself, there are many factors to consider. It’s hard to know where to find accurate information. And we know you want assurance of the best possible personal and medical care available. We’re here to help.

You can find the answers to many common questions below, but if you need additional information we can certainly help. Contact us personally with your questions and concerns, and a team member will get in touch with you as soon as possible.


You can find the signs that someone needs long-term care on our Long-Term Care page.

Some communities specialize in one type of care, while others may offer a continuum of care  (the range of services available). A long-term care community may be certified in one or more categories; these can range from independent living to skilled nursing care. It’s best to schedule a visit and talk to the administrator to clarify levels of care for each community. For Touchstone Communities, all of our communities have long-term care with skilled nursing

Typically, assisted living is for people who need health services and some nursing supervision in addition to help with eating, dressing, walking, or other personal needs.

A skilled nursing community is staffed to make round-the-clock nursing services available to residents who need them. Check with the administrator to see what Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits are available for each types of care, if any.

Some people may be able to get the care they need in a room-and-board home. However, these facilities are not licensed and are not required to provide supervision.

A skilled nursing community is staffed to make round-the-clock nursing services available to residents who need them. Check with the administrator to see what Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits are available for each types of care, if any.

Within short-term care, there’s inpatient and outpatient services. Inpatient means that you’re required to be admitted to the hospital, community, etc., while receiving rehabilitation or any other skilled nursing.

Outpatient means you visit the hospital, community, etc., during office hours and then go home.

All of Touchstone’s communities are inpatient.

Make a list of communities in your area that seem to fit the needs and preferences of the person needing care. The more choices you have, the better your chances of making the best choice. Get references from family and friends who have placed family members in long-term care communities. Other sources could include the local health department, senior citizen groups, your physician, clergyman, relatives, and friends.

It’s not necessary. You can eliminate some by making phone calls to determine what kind of care the communities provide, based on the needs of your loved one. Also, Medicare or Medicaid benefits can be determined with a phone call. Some of the places on your list might not have vacancies.

It’s best to visit a community more than once and at different times of the day. Plan to spend at least an hour on each visit. The first time you visit, schedule an appointment with the administrator and explain the purpose of your visit. After your guided tour, it can be helpful to talk with residents and observe the community by yourself.

Definitely. Most places display their licenses and certificates. Never accept someone’s word that certificates exist without seeing them. Take time to examine them and be sure they’re current. The more important documents include the long-term care community license and nursing home administrator license. If neither license is secured or available, do not use the community. You could also ask to see the latest state survey inspection report of how the facility meets state standards.

  • Accident prevention (Guard rails in hallways? Other accident prevention features?)
  • Activity rooms
  • Bathrooms (Safety features? Clean?)
  • Bedrooms (Opens to a corridor? Has a window? Privacy, closet space, personal drawers? Roommates?)
  • Cleanliness
  • Dining rooms (Clean? Inviting? Comfortable?)
  • Fire Safety (Fire Safety Inspection Report? Fire drills?)
  • Hallways (Large enough for two wheelchairs to pass each other with ease?)
  • Kitchen (Is the food good? Clean? Safe?)
  • Location (Close to home? Rural or urban?)
  • Lobby (Comfortable? Licenses, certificates displayed?)
Medical services

Every community must have physicians available in an emergency, as well as an advisory physician or committee. Good communities allow residents to be treated by their private physicians. They also require that residents be seen as often as necessary. If a resident will be dependent on the facility’s physician, find out how often the physician visits and how closely they supervise resident care.

The community you choose should have arrangements with other healthcare professionals such as dentists, podiatrists, and optometrists to see that residents get the ancillary medical treatment they need.

Hospitalization

A good long-term care community usually has an arrangement with a nearby hospital in case residents become acutely ill. Ask the administrator what arrangements the home has and, in their absence, what is done in case of an emergency.

Nursing services

The competence and attitude of the nursing staff is vital. Registered nurses (RNs) should direct nursing services in skilled nursing homes. An RN may not be on duty during all shifts but must be responsible for the nursing staff. Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) with at least one year of specialized training should be on duty day and night. Certified nurse aides (CNAs) help with bathing, eating, dressing, and other personal needs. Ask the administrator to explain the CNA training program to you.

Rehabilitation

Full- or part-time specialists should be available to help residents regain lost abilities, such as walking, talking, and dressing.

Activities program

Activities can help residents feel right at home. Activities should include trips to community locales and visits to friends and family. Community institutions, such as libraries, should bring their services to the facility. People from the community should be encouraged to volunteer to work or visit with the residents. Residents should be encouraged, but not forced, to participate.

Religious observance

Be sure the home provides on-site services or arrangements for transportation to preferred services.

Social services

Good homes have social workers on staff or as consultants to aid residents and their families when they have concerns or problems.

Food

A dietitian should plan balanced, varied, and tasty meals that meet all of a resident’s nutritional needs. Personal likes and dislikes should be considered. Ask to see menus. Good facilities serve meals at normal times, allow plenty of time for leisurely eating, and provide nutritious between-meal and bedtime snacks.

Grooming

Good communities arrange for barbers and beauticians as needed.

The atmosphere of a community is a vital consideration for you and your loved one. Look for a long-term care community that treats residents like vibrant individuals and works to satisfy their emotional and physical needs. Be sure the community allows the resident to participate in planning their treatment.

Residents should have the freedom and privacy to attend to their personal needs. All residents should have the freedom and opportunity to make friends and to socialize.

Residents should be allowed to decorate their bedrooms with personal belongings and to wear their own clothing. Visiting hours should be generous and set for the convenience of residents and visitors.

Remember, real care and true compassion go hand in hand.

As you might expect, the more services a resident requires, the higher the rate. Talk to the administrator about the basic monthly rate and exactly what the resident receives for it.

Find out whether the resident is entitled to Medicaid or Medicare benefits. If not, look into private health insurance, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, or another major medical plan to see if it covers nursing home costs.

Compare the costs of several communities that provide the same or similar services. Also, ask the community’s administrator to explain all costs. Before a contract is signed, be sure it is completely understood by all persons concerned.

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