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LINCS: Free Support for Seniors

St. Luke Lutheran Community - North Canton is reaching out to seniors beyond the walls of our campus through a program called LINCS (Lutheran Interfaith Network Connection of Services). The LINCS program will be designed to serve an age and income qualified senior population residing in North Canton. As a nonprofit organization, we are looking for new ways to achieve excellence in aging services and enhance the quality of life both in the organization and in the community.

According to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 89 percent of seniors desire to maintain an independent, home-based lifestyle, despite any functional disabilities. However, they lack knowledge about quality, costs and availability of services in their community and how to connect with these services.

The LINCS program is based on the belief that we are all entitled to remain in our familiar home setting for as long as possible and enables St. Luke to further their mission by reaching out with loving Christian care to seniors in the surrounding community.

St. Luke Lutheran Community - North Canton is the recipient of a $14,000 grant from The Aultman Foundation. The grant will enable St. Luke to develop the LINCS program to promote independent and healthy aging by linking seniors with available community services.

Click here for a copy of the LINCS brochure.

How to Find the Right Nursing Home

From Sharon O'Brien,
Your Guide to Senior Living.

Finding a Nursing Home: Introduction
Whether you call it a nursing home, a long-term health care facility, or an assisted living facility, choosing the right facility is one of the most important decisions older adults and their families can make.
The decision to move into a nursing home is often made during times of illness or stress, and it carries a lot of emotion for the family as well as the elder who is making the move.
Because a nursing home may be "home" for a long time, it's especially important to check out the home thoroughly to make sure the nursing home offers the quality of care and lifestyle that will enhance residents' lives.
"The ultimate goal [for the nursing home resident] is to be comfortable, safe, happy, and secure," says Paulette Kaufman, Marketing Counselor for Keswick Pines Lifecare Community .
"And because it is difficult to determine which long-term health care facilities have the residents' best interests at heart, it is often difficult to distinguish a really great home from one that is just "good," Kaufman says.
If you are considering a nursing home, be sure to check each facility out thoroughly - and don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
Kaufman offers the following checklist to help you and your family find the best nursing home available.

Nursing Home and Staff Credentials
When you consider a nursing home, ask these important questions about the facility's licensing and staff credentials:
• What are the nursing home licensing requirements in your state?
• Research the licensing requirements in your state for various types of facilities. Make sure the facilities on your list are licensed and that their licenses are prominently posted in the facility.
• Ask about the credentials of the staff.
• Does the nursing facility offer training?
• Are there staff dedicated to the different types of dementia?
• How many licensed RN's are on staff at all times?

Nursing Home Care and Service
• Ask to see the Resident's Bill of Rights. If you choose a facility, ask for a copy of the Bill of Rights and keep it on file.
• Some nursing homes have developed a "neighborhood" concept so residents can live and socialize with people who have similar needs and experiences. Are residents with dementia grouped together in one wing or are they spread out?
• Is there a Social Services Worker on staff in the facility? These workers can make the transition easier for older adults, and can help to make their stay more comfortable.
• What do the meals consist of? Can a special diet be implemented? What steps are taken to ensure the proper foods are given to the right residents?
• Look at the activity noise level and cleanliness of the facility. Is it clean? Is there a healthy amount of background noise?

Nursing Home Safety and Accessibility
• Are safety and accessibility top priorities for the facility?
• What precautionary steps are in place for emergencies?
• Are there smoke detectors, how many, are they all working?
• How often do they have the fire extinguishers checked and if they know where they are located?
• Are safety procedures adequate? Are stairways and exits clearly marked?
• Is it easy to move from one place to another?
• Are halls and toilets wide enough for wheelchairs?
• Are there any floor hazards like being too slippery or having a thick carpet?
• Is there emphasis on allowing residents to be as independent as they can be?
• Are bathing devices available? Are handle rails provided in bathing areas?
• Are dining rooms and amenities well-spaced to keep walking distances short?

What Types of Amenities and Comfort Does the Nursing Home Provide?
It's important that the nursing home feels comfortable and welcoming to residents. Before you choose one, ask these questions:
• Does the facility have a "community" feel?
• Are the residents happy, alert, groomed, clean, well-fed, and healthy?
• Are the interactions between co-workers, and between workers and residents caring, friendly, and supportive?
• Does the staff know the residents by name?
• What services does the facility provide?
• A facility dedicated to resident comfort and service should provide laundry facilities on each floor, flat linen service, monthly housekeeping, maintenance and scheduled transportation.
• Other amenities may include a hair salon, bank, and gift shop.
• Each room should have individually controlled heat and air conditioning with an emergency response system.

A Good Nursing Home Provides Recreation
Quality of life is important at any age, so make sure the nursing homes you consider provide and adequate variety of recreational activities to keep the residents mentally and physically engaged.
• What types of activities are provided?
• How are nursing activities supervised? How often are they held?
• Does the nursing home provide social, recreational, spiritual, fitness and wellness programs?
• What kinds of exercise regimes are included?
• Does the nursing home provide exercise equipment that is appropriate for residents and easy-to-use?
• Does the nursing home have a fitness instructor on staff?
• What types of social and individual activities are offered?
• Does the nursing home have a computer room, meditation room, library, craft room, game room or wood shop?
• Are religious services available, including visitation and worship?
• Does the nursing home property include nature areas, gardens and footpaths?

Nursing Home Care: What Health Services Does the Nursing Home Provide?
• Are different levels of nursing home care, from assisted living to health care to short term rehabilitation programs, available?
• Is there a focus on needs assessment to determine the appropriate level of care for each nursing home resident?
• Is there sufficient nursing and personal care, including medication management?
• Are in-home health services available?
• Are nurses always close at hand?
• If the facility offers short term rehabilitation programs, is there a private wing with private rooms and a dining area?
• Does the nursing home facility offer care for residents with dementia? What kinds of programs are available for these residents?
• Does the nursing home provide personal care plans? Are these plans developed by an inter-disciplinary team?

inancial Issues to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Home
• Is there a guarantee that the entrance fee is refundable?
• Do the assisted living and health care services come at no additional monthly fee?
• To what degree does the nursing home manage residents' finances?
• Are Medicare and Medicaid plans accepted?

A Good Nursing Home is Dedicated to Quality Improvements
When you research nursing homes, look for facilities that are dedicated to continually making quality improvements in the level of care they provide.
Does the nursing home have programs in place to study processes, re-evaluate services and ask residents and families what might be done better?
• How often are the findings from these programs implemented into changes for the staff, residents, and administration?
• Is the center dedicated to the continuous training of its staff? How is training implemented? And how often?
• Does the dedication to improvements carry over into every facet of the facility?

By asking the right questions, you can be assured that you have found a nursing home or long-term care facility that will provide the best services and support for both the resident and his or her family.

Article from Savvy Senior.

A Time of Transition

Moving Your Loved One into a Nursing Home

Click on the link to begin better understanding what to expect and not to expect from nursing home care while gaining a greater appreciation of how good communication with your nursing home staff will lead to a better quality of care for your loved one.

Area Agency on Aging
Region 10B serving Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties.
1550 Corporate Woods Pkwy.
Suite 100
Uniontown, OH 44685
(330) 896-9172
Fax (330) 896-6644
PASSPORT: 1-800-421-7277
Ombudsman: 1-800-421-7277

Region 9 serving Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Muskingum and Tuscarawas counties.
60788 Southgate Rd.
S.R. 209S
Byesville, OH 43723
(740) 439-4478
Fax (740) 432-1060
PASSPORT: 1-800-945-4250
Ombudsman: 1-800-967-0615

Alzheimer's Association
Akron Office - Serving Summit, Medina, and Portage Counties.
1815 W. Market Street, Suite 301
Akron, OH 44313
(330) 864-5646
Fax(330) 864-7336

Canton Office - Serving Carroll, Coshocton, Holmes, Muskingum, Stark, Tuscarawas, and Wayne Counties.
4815 Munson St., NW
Canton, Ohio 44718
(330) 966-7343
Fax (330) 966-7757

Department of Job and Family Services
221 3rd Street S.E.
Canton, Ohio 44702
(330) 452-4661
Fax (330) 451-8928
TDD (330) 451-8879

1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227)

Social Security Administration
(330) 489-4457

Community Caregivers
3976-A Fulton Dr. N.W.
Canton, OH 44718
(330) 305-1300

Cuyahoga Falls
2044 Front St.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221
(330) 926-1118

3700 Massillon Rd.
Uniontown, OH 44685
(330) 899-0048

801 E. Washington St.
Ste. 225
Medina, OH 44256
(330) 725-9800

West Akron
1900 West Market St.
Akron, OH 44313
(330) 836-8585