Q. Where Can I Go To Get Information On Nursing Facilities?
A. If you are asking about nursing home care with regards to discharge planning from the hospital, the Social Services Department will assist families with a needs assessment and in making any necessary referrals. If you are in the community and wish to understand your long term care options more fully, the Social Services Department is happy to answer your questions. The best resources, however, for this information the nursing homes in your area or Service Link, an organization created specifically to assist older adults with long term care. See “Helpful Links” for more contact information.
Q. What Information Do You Have On Substance Abuse?
A. The Social Services Department at Speare has information on substance abuse programs available in the state of New Hampshire. There are numerous brochures and handouts available in our offices on the second floor. We keep an updated list of NA and AA meetings and there is a lending library that has books on substance abuse to help individuals and their families. Take a look at our “Helpful Links” for more online support.
Q. What Are Advance Directives?
A. Advance Directives consist of two legal documents, the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPOA-H) and the Living Will. The DPOA-H designates one or two health care agents who will make medical decisions on behalf of the patient if they are unable to make decisions for themselves. A living will states an individual’s wishes with regards to end-of- life care. These are documents that can be completed free of charge at the hospital with one of the social workers. Take a look at “Helpful Links” for more information on these documents.
Q. Where Can I Get Help Paying My Hospital Bill If I Don’t Have Insurance?
A. Uninsured and underinsured patients at Speare Memorial Hospital can access several community resources for assistance with paying for their hospitalization. The Community Care program is specifically offered to assist with hospital bills. The financial counselor at Speare assists patients with applications and if they are eligible they will receive assistance. If a patient has a primary care physician affiliated with Speare they may also apply for help from the Prescription Assistance Program. Again, if they are eligible, the patient may receive assistance with paying for medications.
The Social Services Department will also help people in finding other resources that may exist in the community to help them while recovering. These include Town Welfare offices, churches, the Whole Village Family Resource Center and local drug stores that have discounts on medications.
Q. What Suggestions Do You Have For Helping My Parents To Continue Living At Home?
A. The first thing to do is a safety assessment. You want to look at the layout of a home. Ask yourself, “Are there are too many throw rugs, too many stairs, too many obstacles for an older adult with limited mobility?” Will your parent accept help from family, neighbors and possibly a home health care agency? You should also consider your parents emotional safety. If they were once very active in the community, are they able to still participate in these kind of events? Many adults do not want to consider senior living or nursing homes, but they may find they would enjoy the socialization aspect. Be sure to research for those appropriate options. If they are self-sufficient and keep to themselves, it is good to respect that independence, but be sure to keep an eye on them and find ways to help. In either situation it is important to keep them active and involved with family or friends. For more information, take a look at the Service Link Website on our “Helpful Links”.