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May 08. 2013 11:05PM

Flexible county nursing home admissions urged

OSSIPEE - About a dozen residents turned out for a public forum Tuesday on the admission policy for Carroll County's Mountain View Community Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center.

MVC Administrator Howard Chandler led the meeting and reviewed current practices and the updated admission and wait list policy.

County Commissioners Dave Babson Jr., Bob Sorenson and Asha Kenney attended the session.

No action was taken on the proposed policy, which seeks to put in writing that basic procedures for admissions and define the three distinct care settings that the home provides. Those include skilled nursing care, Alzheimer's and memory support care, and intermediate care. The home also accepts private-pay patients and offers rehabilitation services.

On Wednesday, Chandler said one message he took from the meeting, as one attendee suggested, was the need to remain flexible regarding admissions.



Advances in care



Caring for the elderly can be a fluid situation, with the person's medical care needs changing frequently, he said. Overall, there are more choices in caring for the elderly than there were 10 or 15 years ago, he said.

"Now we have other options. People look at nursing home care when the situation is medically complicated. There are assisted-living facilities and (many) more home-care options than there were before," he said, noting that some procedures and treatments that years ago had to be done at a hospital can be conducted at one's home.

He said the admissions policy currently favors county residents, but Chandler said there was a sense of those attending the meeting that the residency requirements should be flexible, that a current county resident with an elderly relative who resides out-of-county should still be able to apply to the home. In fact, most applications to the home are indeed from local people and, in articulating the admissions policy on paper, the county home creates a solution to problem that does not exist, said Chandler.

"Very seldom do we get (an application) from out of the blue," he said.

Currently, the nursing home's 103 beds are full. On average, the home receives five or six applications for admissions per month, and out of those, some applicants are planning ahead for future need.

Chandler said he would incorporate some of the comments and themes from the public meeting into a revised policy for the commissions' review.

More information is available online through a link on the county government web site, carrollcountynh.net, or by contacting the home at 539-7511.

lmulkern@newstote.com


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