Intimate nursing care offers close, personal attention to loved ones with serious medical and memory issues. Also known as “board and care,” our caregivers live alongside our residents. Such proximity allows them to monitor residents and respond quickly to their needs. The close bond between residents and their caretakers ensures a higher level of care than in any assisted living facility.
Benefit of Intimate Nursing Care
Intimate nursing care is a solution for people an ordinary assisted living center is 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 only moderate levels of care. The staff do not live in the facility, so they are forced to relay health information in shifts. On any given day, the care ratio may be as high as twenty-to-one.
The Difference at Verona Court
By contrast, an intimate nursing care facility such as 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, giving us a care ratio of one-to-three. Because we are such a small environment, caregivers become familiar with residents’ needs day–to–day and are able tailor care to each individual.
Typically, administrators at assisted living facilities do not have a medical background. They understand the laws and regulations governing these homes, but not the medical conditions of the people living there. On the other hand, Verona Court’s administrators are all fully qualified nurses. This 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 already have the information they need to start treating the resident.
Continuity of Care
Intimate nursing care ensures residents are continuously monitored throughout the day. Our homes have true awake staff. The two 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 requires attendance during the night, we call in 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 works closely home healthcare providers to help residents 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 have to deal with, especially if they have mobility issues. It also delivers better care because doctors can spend more time with their patients.
Care 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 our home like a family. Residents eat together. They spend holidays together. They celebrate birthdays together. If they want, they can even participate in the life of the house by folding laundry or setting the table.
All activities are personalized. Music, art, and memory game are chosen case-by-case according to the individual. There is no cookie cutter approach. If the women want to play bingo and they men love to barbeque, they can go off separately to have fun.
Intimate nursing care builds its routines around its 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 a resident 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 will prepare a lunch for them later in the afternoon. If they too tired, we bring their meals 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. Residents with special needs receive special meals. Food is 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 on a diabetic diet.
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 meal, 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. The staff discusses their wishes and keeps them up to date on their loved one’s condition. Not only does this ensure the best possible care, but our direct line to the family also helps us react faster in the event of 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 is easy as possible for them to stay close and check in.
After COVID, we had to stop open visitation to protect the health of the residents. While this was obviously distressing, our residents have fared better than people 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 eaten 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 while keeping in touch with 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, there are legal restrictions that 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 the cost of room and board, which can be a heavy financial burden.
By contrast, intimate nursing provides 24-hour care at a fraction of the cost. 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, the families can share the cost of the extra caregiver.
The Goal of Intimate Nursing Care
Intimate nursing care allows caregivers to identify the needs of every individual and provide the resources they require at any time day or night. We make sure everything 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.