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Prairie Home Assisted Living, Appleton
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FAQ Sheet for Prairie Home Assisted Living
Q: What is an Assisted Living facility?

A: Assisted Living Facilities are designed for individuals that need assistance with basic activities of daily living (ADL's). These activities are self-care tasks that we all learned in childhood, but become more and more difficult to perform as people go through the aging process. ADL’s include feeding, bathing, toileting, dressing and grooming, walking and transferring plus self administration of medications.

Assisted Living or Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) or Community Based Residential Facilities (CBRF's) are usually used by people who need assistance with their daily living. These people find it difficult to live on their own without relying heavily on family, friends or a home care agency. People who use Assisted Living Facilities may require medical care in addition to receiving assistance with ADL’s, but they can still maintain some level of independence and do not yet need the level of continuous skilled nursing care found in institutions like nursing homes.

Assisted Living Facilities are licensed and regulated by state guidelines. They are grouped into three classes depending upon the level of care provided. Typically “A” class signifies very little external help with ADL’s whereas “B” and “C” class progress in the amount of care that can be provided. A “C” class assisted living facility is licensed to provide all levels of care including most skilled medical care tasks, which traditionally used to be only managed through nursing homes. Prairie Home is a Class “C” ambulatory (CNA) CBRF facility, which is licensed and regulated by the State of Wisconsin to serve residents who are ambulatory, semi-ambulatory, or non-ambulatory but one or more of whom are not physically or mentally capable of responding to an electronic fire alarm and exiting the facility without help or verbal or physical prompting.

People generally choose between home care, assisted living or nursing home care depending upon the amount of independence the individual can maintain, the amount of care needed, and the cost of that care.

Q: Who can benefit from Assisted Living and how?

A: There are many types of people who can benefit from residing at an Assisted Living Facility.  Assisted Living is ideal for elderly individuals, or couples, who are capable of some level of independence but require assistance with the basic activities of daily living.  They may also have some medical concerns that require supervision or continuous attention.  An ALF is also a safe place for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia related problems.  Assisted Living is an ideal living arrangement for disabled individuals as well as those recovering from hospitalization or illness and in need of medical supervision.

There are many benefits for those who choose to live in an Assisted Living facility. The most important benefit is derived from the basic concept of “assisted” living.  The philosophy of assisted living is that it promotes independence, autonomy, privacy and dignity for the residents who live there.  The concept of Assisted Living is more concerned with the approach towards care rather than the actual care received.  This concept is important to families struggling with the less appealing option of placing their loved one in a traditional nursing home.  Assisted Living facilities strive to maintain the current level of independence enjoyed by residents, but with additional supervision and support when necessary.

One important benefit gained for residents and families alike is family roles are often restored when caregiver responsibilities are taken over by trained staff.  The professional care provided by assisted living facilities relieves the stress and burnout experienced by families when dealing with loved ones who need daily care.

Peace of mind is gained from living in an Assisted Living facility.  The residents benefit from continual monitoring of their health by the trained caregivers, Facility Directors and RN.   Safety against accidents or falls is another plus. The availability of nutritious meals and housekeeping, in addition to opportunities for social interaction, all add to the quality of life experienced by residents at assisted living facilities.
Q: Who lives in Assisted Living facilities?

A: Currently, more than a million Americans live in an estimated 20,000 assisted living residences. Assisted living residents can be young or old, affluent or low income, frail or disabled. A typical resident is mid-eighty and is either widowed or single. Residents may suffer from Alzheimer's disease or other memory disorders. Residents may also need help with incontinence or mobility.

Q: What types of services are offered at Prairie Home Assisted Living?

A: Prairie Home Assisted Living provides:
· Three meals a day, snacks and beverages served in a common dining area
· Housekeeping services
· Assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting and walking
· Medically trained staff
· Access to health and medical services
· Monthly/daily health monitoring by Directors, Administrators, RN and CNA's
· Specialized care for Alzheimer & Dementia related disorders
· 24-hour security and staff availability
· Emergency call systems for each resident
· Health promotion and exercise programs
· Medication management under Facility Director/RN supervision
· Pharmacy services
· Personal laundry services
· Social and recreational activities
· Spiritual care and ministry services for all faiths
· Fun and Fitness room with exercise equipment and crafts area
· Beauty and barber services
· Rooms are phone, cable TV and Wi-Fi ready

Q: How much does Assisted Living cost?

A: At Prairie Home, it is understood that each resident has unique needs and preferences.  That is why we schedule an initial assessment meeting with each potential resident and his or her family.  The goal of the assessment is to learn more about the resident and determine what type of care is needed.

After an initial assessment, we will work together with your loved one’s health care provider to put together a Care Plan.  The Care plan is an individualized list and schedule of the services your loved one will receive.  Our goal is to provide a level of care that addresses health concerns and provides necessary assistance while helping seniors to maintain their lifestyles.

Only after the Care plan is developed do we determine the monthly cost of care.  That way there are never any hidden costs or surprises.   On average Assisted Living costs are usually half the cost of nursing home care or full-time home care.  While some assisted living facilities charge per item of care or service, Prairie Home includes a wide range of services within our standard monthly fees.  Moreover, unlike other assisted living facilities which base their prices on a sliding scale and often raise rates for each additional service required, Prairie Home only readdresses price rates in the event of a major change in level of care (i.e.- stroke). Click to see the services available at Prairie Home Assisted Living.

Q: Who pays the bill for assisted living?

A: Depending on the nature of an individual's health insurance program or long-term care insurance policy, costs may be reimbursed. VA Assistance is available to Vets and their spouses. Medicaid waiver programs may also be available to help pay for assisted living services. Prairie Home accepts government funding. Please contact or give us a call at (920) 969-0526 orfor a referral to the appropriate agency. We'd be happy to help.

Q: Are Assisted Living services covered by Medicare?

A: Typically Medicare does not cover the costs of living in an Assisted Living Facility. The exception is when skilled nursing care is required and given. Medicare has guidelines and limitations for coverage. Please give us a call at (920) 969-0526 or contact for specific details about Medicare coverage for your individual situation. We'd be happy to help.

Q: How does Assisted Living compare to institutionalized care?

A: The main difference between assisted living facilities and institutionalized facilities, such as nursing homes, is the level of care a resident receives and the level freedom the resident is allowed.

In nursing homes, a majority of the residents have health issues that require continual medical supervision as well as need of assistance with daily living tasks.  They are no longer capable of living independently.  Residents in such a facility usually live in shared rooms with little to no private space.  Nursing staff provide medical and general assistance, but are limited in their time and attention by a high resident to staff ratio.  Nursing home residents typically are unable to leave the facility on their own, mainly because they are physically or mentally unable to.

Assisted living residents are far more independent.  They typically do not need as much hands-on medical attention.  Beyond requiring assistance with medicine management, bathing and other tasks of daily living, residents remain very independent. In many assisted living facilities they have individual room furnished and decorated to their own tastes.  Assisted living residents might still cook, entertain, participate in activities, and go on outings, while still enjoying the security of medical supervision and social interaction with other residents.

In the past the main distinction between Assisted Living facilities and institutionalized facilities, like nursing homes, was the ability to provide skilled nursing care.  These days Class C Assisted Living facilities are able to provide many medical services.  Under the supervision of a RN, medical care usually includes medication monitoring, pharmaceutical services, Alzheimer's and Dementia Care, physical and occupational therapy, pain management and hospice care.

Q: How are Prairie Home Assisted Living Caregivers selected?

A: It takes a special person to provide loving and compassionate care for the elderly. We look for employees that have a true interest and heart in serving the aging. All individuals selected for employment at Prairie Home must be of high moral and ethical character, and they must be involved in long-term care because they want to assist the elderly. They must also display a willingness to learn and keep current in the changes required in long-term care.

Prairie Home Assisted Living provides ongoing training under the supervision of our resident RN.  Each Caregiver is required by state regulations to have an additional 15 hours of continuous education each year.  Prairie Home provides in-house training which covers, but is not limited to, medications, disease processed, Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, fall prevention, pain management, infection control and hospice care as well as education in caring for clients with special needs. 

All caregivers working for Prairie Home are carefully interviewed and go through a screening process, including a criminal background check.  Each caregiver is fully trained for the type of care they provide.

Q: Why choose Prairie Home Assisted Living?

A: Prairie Home is a Class C assisted living facility.  That means it is licensed and monitored by the State of Wisconsin.  Prairie Home is staffed by highly trained medical staff and is fully capable of providing medical care as well as assistance with daily living tasks.

Prairie Home strives to make residents feel at home.  From the beautifully decorated living areas, to individually decorated private rooms, to home cooked nutritional meals Prairie Home provides the highest quality care in a home-like setting. 

Prairie Home is a family business.  It is privately owned and operated by John H. McCarthy and is managed by members of the McCarthy family.  It is a faith based business, where deep devotion to Christ serves as guidelines for how the business is run.  Many staff members share the same principles and so Prairie Home is a place where prayer and ministry are common practice.

Q: What is "caregiver" burnout?

A: Caregiver burnout is a real problem that family caregivers need to recognize. It is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that comes from not getting the help needed when providing care for your loved one. It usually results from taking on too much and being spread too thin. Caregivers experiencing “burn out” suffer from fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression. It affects attitudes and damages loving, caring relationships. It often results in physical illness and loss of time at work. Respite is absolutely necessary when you are a primary caregiver for a loved one. Talk with us at Prairie Home Assisted Living to see how we can help.

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