Question 1. When is the best time to place my parent in a frail care facility?

There is no correct answer and it depends much on the circumstances of the family and their parents.  We suggest to rather err on the side of too early than too late.  The following is some pointers as to when it is a suitable time:

  1. Does my parent eat health and enough?
  2. Do my parent reliantly take their medicine as prescribed by a doctor?
  3. Do my parent drink enough liquids?
  4. How is the general hygiene of my parent, both on their person and on their environment.  This is an important pointer.
  5. Are they able to walk and go to the toilet without assistance?

Very important:  We quite often sees where a person whom suffers from dementia, the stress on their spouse because of the situation and the care work is seriously detrimental to the spouse's health.  Parents wish to hide early signs of dementia to their children and is surprising effective in doing so.  If children are not visiting their parents often and for long periods, it is very difficult for them to discover it early.  It is better for a person with dementia to enter a frail care or other suitable facility rather earlier than later as the adjustment to the new environment is stressful for a dementia person.

 

Question 2. What do I need to send with my parent when he/she enters a frail care?

Most frail care facilities has a list of things to send with.  This includes everything from tooth paste to clothes.  We also have a list, but as a general principle we advise people to bring things that their parent will value for example:

  1. Their own bedding and favourite cushion.
  2. Photos that can be placed on a night stand or be hung on a wall.
  3. Their own bed or just the headboard of their bed.

We have our own furniture, but we try to make people feel at home as much as possible.  It is important that they experience this facility as a home and not a hospital.

Question 3. How often can I visit my parents?

Except for during the Covid-19 pandemic, our visiting hours are:

Morning 10:00 to 11:30

Afternoon 14:00 to 16:00

We try to avoid visitors outside visiting hours as during those time personnel are busy serving meals and washing residents.  However if a visit is required outside visiting hours please inform the facility management and they will make arrangements.

Another consideration is that when a person enters a facility, we always request the family to avoid visiting their parent in the first two weeks.  Residents really rebel against the thought that they must enter a frail care facility.  They feel that their final independence are taken away.  The first two weeks is tough for everybody especially with dementia residents.

COVID-19 arrangements:  No visits in any of the facilities are allowed.  We have a safe area where visits are allowed on appointment.  This is very frustrating for all involved, but we have to protect residents.  This policy can change very quickly based on the thread level.

 

Question 4. How do you handle medication?

We do not supply any medication and it is excluded from the cost.  All medication must be provided in a blister pack format with a copy of the applicable prescription.  We normally suggest that family make use of a nearby facility such as Essential Health Pharmacy to do the blister packing.  Blister packing is a great tool to ensure that no mistakes are made when issuing medication.

Schedule 5 to 7 medication is kept in a separate secured cupboard with limited and controlled access.

Question 5. What if a resident requires doctor visits

Doctor visits are not included in the cost.  This must be done or arranged by the family.  However:

  • We have a relationship with the practice of Dr. Goosen who visits us every Wednesday morning.  The sister-in-charge will make arrangements for the doctor to visit a resident after she obtained permission from the family.
  • Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists or Speech Therapists also often visits the facility.

Question 6. Why Reflexology at a frailcare?

As a person age it gets harder and harder to bend over, which make is difficult to look after oneself's feet. This can cause toenails to grow in, which can be very painful. Sores that are on the feet and not cared for can lead to amputations. Your parents may not be able to get to their feet, which is why the reflexologist is there, massaging their feet and improving overall comfort.  A reflexologist is part of the care team and the cost for this is included in the residency cost at the facility.

Question 7. How often are bedridden residents turned?

All residents that are bedridden are turned every 2 hours for 24 hours a day.  This is done to prevent bed sores.  We have strict control over this and monitor that it happen in the resident's records.  We also have CCTV cameras in the entire facility to monitor that the work was actually done.

Question 8. How often must residents take liquids?

Dehydration is very common amongst the elderly.  This often leads to urinary tract infection especially if the person wears a nappy.  This could lead to fever and hallucinations.  This is also a very common complaint when the elderly goes to a hospital that they are dehydrated.  We therefore have a strict policy that everybody must take liquids every two hours while a resident is awake. 

Question 9. What is the difference between Frail Care and Assisted Living?

There are fundamental differences.  The sister-in-charge will complete a questionnaire based on medical reports received from doctors, social workers and specialists.  The scoring according to the questionnaire determines if a person could care for themselves which indicate if a person require frail care or assisted living.  The below pointers are only indicators when frail care is required and not assisted living. The list is not exhaustive at all:

  1. If the person cannot walk or manoeuvre themselves, for example the person is permanent wheel chair bound and not strong enough to lift himself when at the toilet.
  2. The person requires 24 hours of the day care.  For example they are a risk that they can fall out of their bed or the cognitive abilities requires 24 hours care because they are a danger for themselves.
  3. The person is a fall risk.
  4. Any form of dementia
  5. Cannot be trusted to drink their medication responsibly.  (In assisted living a resident must be able to take care of their own medication.)