Q: Can I view the Nursing Home before I make up my mind?
A: Making a decision that you, or your family member, requires care in a nursing home can be a difficult and choosing a nursing home can seem complicated. To help you, we encourage people to visit our Nursing Homes in advance to view the facilities and talk with a senior member of our team about what you are looking for and what we can provide. You, and family members, can visit more than once, and we will accommodate viewing requests for times outside normal business hours when this may be required and suit your circumstances best.
Q: How is my care funded?
A: Financial support towards the cost of long-term nursing home care can be applied for under the Nursing Home Support Scheme, “A Fair Deal” which is administered by the HSE. It is the only financial support scheme available for new admissions. Information on the scheme is available on the HSE website at www.HSE.ie
All of our Homes are ‘Fair Deal’/NTPF approved. This means that that the HSE makes a determination on who much you will pay and then the State will pay the balance. This applies regardless of the cost of care in your chosen Home. Potential residents should apply for Fair Deal approval well in advance as this process can take a number of weeks.
Should you not be eligible for Fair Deal, or decide that you do not want to avail of this process, you can pay the total cost of care and be invoiced directly for care on a monthly basis.
Q: Who will be taking care of me?
A: We have highly skilled and caring teams led by Home Managers (all very experienced senior nurses) that are supported on a day to day basis over the 7-day week by Clinical Nurse Managers (CNMs). We have Nurses, registered by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, available in all our units and homes 24 hours a day. These nurses oversee all of your individual care needs. Our teams comprise of – Nurses, Team Leaders, Healthcare Assistants, Social Care Leaders, GPs, and contracted allied health professionals such as Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, catering team, household team, administration and reception team as well as access to Nutritionist/Dietitian, Tissue Viability Nurse, Chiropodist, and Optician.
Q – What is it like settling into a nursing home?
A: We understand that the decision to move into residential care can be a difficult one and can potentially be a cause a great deal of stress for people and families. We will work with to make your transition as smooth as possible so when you move into a FirstCare home we will become part of your support network so that you truly feel at home. We want you to feel comfortable as soon as you move in and will encourage you to bring personal items to add to your room. Some residents who come to live with us settle in overnight and others take longer as the process of settling in is a very personal and individual experience. We ask you, and your family, to communicate with us at all times but particularly in the early days so we can work with you to settle in as quickly as possible. We meet with you, and your family, as part of your admission to get to know you better through your life story, what interests you and what meaningful so that our staff understand you as an individual and we can tailor care and social program to your needs.
Q – I’m not familiar with any of the nursing homes in my area. How do I know which facilities are good?
A: Consider these suggestions on researching and choosing a nursing home. It’s an important task, so ask people close to you to be involved and make arrangements to view a number of facilities. One of the best resources is word-of-mouth from a trusted friend or relative. The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) inspects all nursing homes and prepares summary reports that are available to read online.
Q – I’m worried about the care that my loved one will receive in a nursing home. If I move her/him to a facility and I have a concern about care, what can I expect?
A: At FirstCare, residents and families are encouraged to give us feedback and communicate directly with us. This includes individualised resident and family meetings, open resident and relative committee, suggestion boxes as well as speaking directly with staff at any time. We take all concerns very seriously and have a complaints policy and process whereby the Home Manager will be the first point of contact to address your concerns and ensure any actions required are completed.
Q – Will my relative have their own room and ensuite ?
Each of our Homes have different configurations with the majority of rooms being single rooms with ensuites. However, this is not always everyones preferred option and so our Homes also have a small number of double rooms. Some people chose double rooms as they prefer company and also are used when couples wish to share.
All rooms are fully furnished, to include bed, wardrobe, bedside cabinet and chest of drawers; overhead lighting and bedside light; wall pictures and mirror, as desired; care call system; and central heating. All bedding and towels are provided, but we do encourage people to personalise their rooms and this may include duvets, blankets etc.
Residents are encouraged to personalise their rooms with photographs, ornaments, and items of furniture etc.
Additional assisted toilets and bathrooms, including hydrotherapy baths, are provided throughout the home.
Q – Will my relative have a choice of meals or is it a set menu?
A: At FirstCare we know how important food, food choice and the dining experience is to all individuals. As well as the social aspects, meals and nutrition is one of the core components of high quality care and effective health promoting activities that is on offer. Nutritious meals and snacks assist people that have health care needs related to normal ageing as well as helping people that might have more complex needs such as those with diabetes. Our chefs and catering teams provide freshly prepared cooked meals with menus devised by dieticians. Our menus change daily and offer choices within each menu. Each individual resident has a food plan developed based on their likes/dislikes, choices and needs.
Menus are based on resident feedback and suggestions, as well as ensuring we take seasonal variation into account. We utilise clinical assessment tools to assess individuals needs to ensure the consistency of meals are individualised and where required this includes an assessment by a Speech and Language Therapist.
• Drinks and snacks are available.
• Special dietary requirements are catered for.
• Residents are encouraged to continue to eat independently, but where appropriate, assistance is provided.
• Residents’ diets are monitored and where necessary referrals to specialists are made.
Q – Can I go out with my family?
A: Yes, residents go out with family and friends and we will support you to go on outings and overnight/holidays when arranged.
Q – When can people visit?
A: Visitors are always welcome. While close family members may visit at anytime we do encourage other visitors to allow residents have uninterrupted mealtimes and accommodate a good nights sleep by finishing their visit by 9.30pm. Children are very welcome in the Homes but we do ask that they are supervised by the accompanying adult/s at all times. Residents can chose where to meet visitors including their bedroom as well as any of the various sitting areas, family rooms, or coutyards/garden (weather permitting).
Q – What training is your staff given?
A: FirstCare ensures staff receive all mandatory training as well as providing ongoing training and skills development for all our staff. All new staff undertake an intensive induction program for the first fortnight with continuous supervision and support throughout their probation period and beyond. Person centred care is key to our values – Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Empathy – with our induction and supervision processes supporting our staff fully understanding and engaging in behaviours and care that demonstrate these values everyday. We pride ourselves in providing best practice care and therefore our staff are supported to attend and complete higher level education courses as well as attending conference and events to keep up to date with new initiatives in the sector.
Q – Can pets visit?
A: We welcome pet visits and ask that you confirm with the Home Manager prior to bringing any animals into the building. Please make sure that your pet is friendly and up-to-date with all vaccinations. We also have pet therapy activities in our program.
Q. What should a person bring with them on admission?
A: Our resident guide will provide more detail on this but in general please bring up to four changes of clothing and your usual footwear; while we provide toiletries please feel free to bring your own; Equipment or aids that you require for your daily living; Personal effects e.g. photos, small items of furniture, ornaments etc.
If you have specific items that are not listed above the Home Manager would be very happy to discuss in more detail.
Q. Do you have religious services?
A: Yes. We are a multi-denominational facility and try to meet all residents’ religious and spiritual needs. Mass is celebrated regularly and other local clergy visit the Homes.
Q – Are dental treatments and chiropody available?
Yes. Chiropody and dental treatments are available on request; depending on your circumstances some of these services may be covered by the HSE.
Q – Can a person bring their own furniture and other possessions?
A: Yes. All rooms can be personalised with a person’s own furniture, pictures and ornaments. Residents are encouraged to bring in personal items of furniture to personalise their surroundings making their stay more pleasurable and comfortable. We unfortunately due to Health & Safety regulations cannot allow any electrical items.
Q – Do you cater for special dietary needs?
A: We cater for everyone and our top class catering team can provide a varied and healthy menu choice for our residents, including those on restricted or special diets. Please make us aware of your dietary needs at the pre-admission assessment.
Q – How secure is the nursing home for residents?
A: Our Homes are safe and secure and include having a receptionist available throughout the day and after hours until late evening; use of CCTV cameras in public areas, external gates closed late evening as well as well established practices of safety checks by our staff on a 24/7 basis.
Q – Can my own GP continue to visit me?
A: Yes – Your family doctor may continue to care for you, visiting you in the Home as necessary. If you have moved outside your doctor’s area it may be necessary for you to register with another GP. If this is necessary, we will discuss the matter fully with you and/or your family. As a GP is a central member of the team it is important to arrange this prior to admission as the GP needs to be involved on admission.
Q – Is personal information kept confidential?
A: All information obtained by the Home in the process of delivering a residents care is deemed strictly confidential.
Confidential information will not be passed on to any others who are not responsible for the care of the resident. All staff are aware of our confidentiality policy and are required to sign a Confidentiality Statement prior to being employed in the Home.
Q – Are children allowed to visit?
A: We welcome all your family and friends, we have beautiful grounds and gardens with seating areas and indoor facilities for you to spend with your loved ones. Children are of course allowed under the supervision of an adult.
Q – What’s your smoking policy?
A: Residents only are allowed to smoke in designated areas within our Homes. We are compliant with the Regulations under The Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2002 and 2004 and therefore no smoking is permitted inside any Firstcare home for the benefit of all, with the exception of designated smoking areas/rooms for the use of residents only who wish to smoke.