Intimate nursing care offers close, personal attention to loved ones with serious medical and memory issues. Also known as “board and care,” intimate nursing care is a unique arrangement where caregivers live alongside residents. Such proximity allows caretakers to monitor residents and respond quickly to their needs. The close bond between them ensures a higher level of support than in any assisted living facility.
Benefit of Intimate Nursing Care
Intimate nursing care is a solution for people ordinary assisted living centers are not equipped to help. Some assisted living facilities have over 150 residents. Though they provide a high standard of living, they are designed for seniors who are independent or require moderate assistance. The staff do not live in the facility, so health information is relayed in shifts. On any given day, the care ratio may be as high as twenty-to-one.
The Difference at Verona Court
By contrast, intimate nursing care provided at Verona Court offers warm and undivided support. Verona Court has no more than six residents at a time. They are attended by two full-time caregivers who live on site, a care ratio of one-to-three. Because we are such a small environment, caregivers quickly become familiar with the residents’ daily needs and respond without any prompting.
Typically, administrators at assisted living facilities do not have a medical background. They understand the laws and regulations governing these institutions, but not the medical conditions of the people living there. On the other hand, Verona Court’s administrators are fully qualified nurses, which helps them recognize medical issues, devise treatment plans, assess problems, and communicate with doctors. They are also first line providers. If a physician needs to be called in, our administrators will have the information they need to start treatment right away.
Continuity of Care
Intimate nursing care ensures residents are continuously monitored throughout the day. Our homes have true awake staff. Caregivers are there when residents wake up and stay on duty until they go to bed.
However, if one or more residents need help going to the bathroom or require attendance during the night, we hire an extra caregiver to look after them while the house is asleep. This lets the regular staff rest comfortably without interruption, so they are fresh and alert the next morning.
Verona Court also provides home healthcare for residents who want to age in place. We partner with pharmacists to manage medications, as well as dentists, podiatrists, physical therapists, hospice workers, and even x-ray technicians to provide medical services in the home. Bringing in physicians reduces the stress residents must deal with, especially if they have mobility issues. It also allows doctors to spend more time with patients, which enables better care.
Attention is constant, immediate, and personal. Almost immediately after moving in, residents stabilize and their comfort improves. One of our patients, given a two-week prognosis, lived for a whole extra year under our care!
Warm & Welcoming
Living close together makes residents feel like family. They eat together, spend holidays together, and celebrate birthdays together. If they want, they can also participate in the life of the house by folding laundry or setting the table.
Everything is personalized; there is no cookie cutter approach. Music, art, and memory games are chosen case-by-case according to the individual. If the women want to play bingo and the men love to barbeque, they can go off separately to have fun.
Intimate nursing care builds its routines around residents. There is a flow, but days change based on individuals. At Verona Court, most residents wake up at seven o’clock to shower and dress. But if one had a bad night and slept until 10, then we adjust the schedule. We shower them when they are ready to get up. If they have a late breakfast, we prepare lunch for them later in the afternoon. If they are tired, we bring their food to their room.
Unlike assisted living, intimate nursing care doesn’t serve a fixed menu every day. We discuss food with each resident’s family and add their favorite items to our weekly purchase. We go out of our way to create special meals for people with dietary restrictions. Meals are also modified based on people’s chewing and swallowing issues. Staff at Verona Court have worked with residents who were lactose intolerant, gluten free, or diabetic.
Because staff and residents share meals together, they quickly get to know what foods residents are eating successfully and what everyone enjoys. If they notice someone dislikes a particular food, they create a separate dish next time.
Residents & Their Families
Families play a vital role in intimate nursing care and are a part of every decision. Staff discusses their wishes and keeps them up to date on their loved one. Not only does this ensure the best possible care, but our direct line to the family also helps us react faster in an emergency.
Before COVID-19, intimate nursing care facilities like Verona Court had open visitation during the day. Families were encouraged to stop by and spend as much time with their loved ones as they could. Often, they took them out for a drive or a meal or back home for a night. We made it easy as possible for them to stay close and check in.
After COVID, we had to stop open visitation to protect residents. While this was obviously distressing, our residents have fared better than seniors living in larger retirement communities. Because intimate nursing homes are so small, residents were not forced to isolate. Like any family, they were able to leave their rooms and interact. Meals were taken together, and staff still organized fun activities for everyone.
Accommodating visitors while protecting residents is difficult, but Verona Court found they could keep everyone safe using sliding doors. Talking to family through a glass partition is not ideal, but it has allowed our residents to stay healthy and connected to their loved ones.
Intimate Nursing Care is the Affordable Choice
It is not always easy for seniors to stay in traditional assisted living if they have health problems. Though these facilities have nurses on staff, legal restrictions limit the care they can give. If a resident requires more attention, their families must hire an outside caregiver to come and look after them. This cost is added to room and board, which can be a heavy financial burden.
By contrast, intimate nursing provides 24-hour care at a fraction of the price. Because it is a smaller environment with fewer residents, it requires fewer staff to provide the same level of support. At Verona Court, we also do our best to match residents who need help overnight. That way, families share the cost of the extra caregiver.
The Goal of Intimate Nursing Care
Intimate nursing care allows us to identify the needs of every individual and provide the resources they require, day or night. From grooming to dining to sleeping, it all happens seamlessly, for the aid and comfort of everyone.
Lewis Jackson writes about technology and healthcare. His work provides practical insight into modern medicine and healthy living.