Choosing an elderly living facility

What to know about senior living

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -  

In light of the tragic incident at Glenwood Gardens, 23 ABC looked into what families should know when it comes to choosing a senior living facility.

The Director of Kern County’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Nona Tolentino, told 23 ABC that families first need to shop around and research the different kinds of elderly living facilities.

“Family members often times fail to ask very specific questions.  Sometimes they get impressed with how the place looks like and they forget to get to the real important things,” Tolentino explained.

According to Tolentino there are three types of facilities. The first is an independent living facility which is similar to an apartment.  The residents live in their own room and there is no supervision at night. That is type of facility 80-year-old Lorraine Bayless was living in.

“That’s probably something that’s pretty scary when you know you may need their help at any point in time,” said Tolentino.

The second type of facility is assisted living. Assisted living means staff will check on residents every two to four hours and provide things like grooming, bathing and dining services. The third facility is a nursing home where employees are on hand 24 hours a day.

 23 ABC spoke to Ellen Renner, The Executive Director at Rosewood Senior Living to find out how another facility might respond to an emergency similar to the one at Glenwood Gardens.

Renner said all residents must fill out the necessary paperwork and medical forms. That includes the Do Not Resuscitate Form. However, unless instructed not to help employees will take action.

“We have a number of people who are certified of course, but even those of us who've had some training and aren't certified were protected through Good Samaritan Law and that enables us to give it a try if we can."

Glenwood Gardens did not perform CPR on Bayless because they were following protocol. 23 ABC asked Tolentino what she thought about that.

“In most instances since you are calling for help the assumption is that you would then execute what the paramedics are asking you to do. They might have been thinking about liability issues more than anything else."

For more information on the Kern County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and senior living facilities go to www.gbla.org

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