Caregivers provide Assisted Daily Living
Some "caregivers" go to the home of people to do for them what they cannot do for themselves. Other caregivers go to work in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, and they also help the patients there in doing things they cannot do by themselves.
"When we come in the morning, we just help with ADL," says Norma White, a Certified Nursing Assistant who has worked full-time for the past 18 months at Life Care Center of Punta Gorda.
"ADL" stands for "Assisted Daily Living," White continued,"We help them get dressed, do their toiletries, we take their vital signs to make sure they are OK and we report to the nurse. The most important thing is to encourage them. Sometimes they are depressed, because they are ill. We give them the encouragement that they are going to be OK."
Another Certified Nursing Assistant, Nathalie Montgomery, has worked at Life Care for the past 32 years. She was a caregiver until three years ago, when she became the "Concierge," welcoming patients and getting ready anything they will need, such as oxygen, and she brings the meals into the room for those who do not go to the diningroom.
Decades ago, the certification of nursing assistant was not a requirement. Montgomery said she was trained within the facility.
"It was my first job," she said. "I had one year of college, and way back they had classes at the Life Care Center. Life Care is a very nice place to work."
The executive director of Life Care Center of Punta at 450 Shreve St., is Bruce Freeman. He said the facility has two sides. On one side, patients are there for a short term, usually less than two months. They undergo rehabilitation for orthopedic reasons, such as knee or hip replacement. The other side of the facility is for longer stays for a multitude of reasons.
"We have long-term people who are the more traditional nursing home patients," Freeman said. "They are here for chronic conditions, and it is not going to change. It becomes their permanent home."
According to Freeman and Life Care Spokesperson Ilona Weber, if a patient is covered by Medicare and has been three nights in a hospital, Medicare pays for 20 days of rehabilitation in a nursing home at 100 percent.
For younger patients, the insurance coverage is verified, and they may have some out-of-pocket expense. If without insurance, the patient has to pay the cost. For people who can be covered by Medicaid, the nursing home care is covered, but not the rehabilitation.
"Everything is determined on an individual basis, and every case is given our full attention," Weber said.
One Punta Gorda resident who has stayed at Life Care is Yvonne Ward.
"The last time I was there was in February 2009," she recalled, "and I was only there a week because I progressed so fast. I had physical therapy twice a day. Everybody was very congenial and friendly. The food was good and the housekeeping was good; it was very clean. The first day, they helped me get in the shower. I was there after I had my knee replacement surgery."
Jill Kent is also a return "visitor." The day before she was to leave Life Care, she said, "This time I have been here four weeks, and it is my second visit here. The first time, I broke my thigh. This time, I broke my shoulder, and I knew exactly where I was going, when they asked me at the hospital. I was in the hospital for a week."
Asked about the care she received from the caregivers, Kent replied, "A-1! There is no way you can possibly beat it in the world. They will literally run their butt off for you. They come in for one thing, and they ask you if you need something else. You could feel proud of yourself for recommending this place."
She showed a little rubber ball at the end of a rubber wire passed through the side of her bed.
"You can call them with that any time, in the middle of the night, and they are right here."
For more information about Life Care Center of Punta Gorda call 941-639-8771, or visit their website at www.LCCA.com.