Shingles (herpes zoster)

Shingles is a condition many assisted living providers are coping with as part of resident care. It is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus – the same virus that causes chickenpox. It is most common among 60- to 80-year-olds. Fifty percent of all Americans will have had shingles by the time they are 80. Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching, usually on one side of the body or face near the area where the rash is developing. This may happen anywhere from 1 to 5 days before the rash appears. The rash forms blisters that typically scab over in 7–10 days. The virus is spread through direct contact with the blister fluid itself. (more…)

Licensing thinks your understaffed?

From time to time, even the best communities may be accused of being “understaffed”. Sometimes it is families with unrealistic expectations of care, other times it can be a surveyor or even disgruntled employee making negative comments. It can be frustrating for good providers to “prove” staffing is adequate. Of course, there are formulas and most service planning programs will estimate FTEs, but often a surveyor may want more confirmation of adequate staffing. (more…)

Regulatory compliance implications with emar

The use of electronic MARs is growing exponentially in assisted living.   EMARs have demonstrated improvement in efficiency as well as medication safety.  Many providers are touting  17 percent or more improved efficiency when using EMAR.  While the benefits of moving away from paper mar are many, providers must take certain steps to ensure compliance. (more…)

Screening for Alcohol Abuse

It is a standard of care, before a resident moves into an Assisted Living Community to perform a variety of assessments.  Communities verify diagnosis, medications, ability to perform ADLs as well as review social interests.  Often overlooked is screening for alcohol abuse. (more…)

Action Steps for Change in Condition

Assisted Living communities are at high risk when a resident has a significant change in condition.  This change could include a pressure sore, cessation or decrease in eating or drinking,  immobility or weakness, change in mental status, just to name a few.  Calling the family to notify of a change in condition is important, but not enough. (more…)

Is your Med Program Ready for the October 6 Change?

Effective October 6, 2014 The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is reclassifying  Hydrocodone combination products or HCPs from the more permissive Schedule III to a Schedule II drug.    Examples include Norco, Vicodin and Lortab. Hydrocodone plus acetaminophen is the most widely prescribed drug in the country since 2007.  This will impact assisting living.  As a schedule III, hydrocodone products could be faxed or orally communicated from the physician to the pharmacy.  This is no longer the case.  A written prescription must be presented to the pharmacy.  Refilling these meds is going to be more of a challenge.  What  can we do for this change? (more…)

The Magic of Music

There are few things that bring joy to a person’s life quite like music. Attending an evening concert, dressing up for the local symphony, singing Christmas Carols during the holiday season or playing the piano or guitar while at home – music can enhance any experience in life. The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has announced its theme for this year’s Nation Assisted Living Week as “The Magic of Music”. (more…)

Disaster Preparedness Breakfast

RCFE Disaster Preparedness Task Force
American Red Cross
Oakmont of Escondido Hills

Disaster Preparedness Breakfast

FREE BREAKFAST – FREE C.E.U. is being applied
FREE Long Term Care Desktop Disaster Reference Guide

September 17, 2014
8:30am – 10:30am

Oakmont of Escondido Hills, 3012 Bear Valley Pkwy S, Escondido 92025

Lic. # 374601486

(more…)

Wage and Labor Poster Requirements

As an employer you are required to post certain information in an area where all employees can easily view them.  Keeping track of what to post can be challenging. Fortunately the U.S. Department of Labor maintains a list of required workplace postings, who must post them, and the penalties for failing to post on their website.  (more…)

Hypertension

Most everyone is familiar with the process of getting their blood pressure tested. The doctor or nurse wraps your arm in a Velcro fastened brace, it squeezes your arm, and somehow it gives the attendant a couple of numbers that determine your blood pressure. (more…)