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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. How are Assisted Living Communities, Personal Care Homes and Nursing Homes different?

Both assisted living communities and personal care homes offer personal care and memory care services in a home-like environment.

Woodland Ridge was one of the first communities in the State of Georgia to achieve the new licensure designation for an assisted living community. The licensure means that we can support aging in place and allow residents who become non-ambulatory to remain at Woodland Ridge unless they require 24-hour skilled care. To meet the new regulation, Woodland Ridge provided intensive training and ensured that our medication aides passed a state test for certification and registry. We also improved the level of fire safety standards in the community and provided intensive staff training on care plans, aging in place and Alzheimer’s Disease, developed new policies and procedures for aging in place care and proxy care for health maintenance tasks.

Personal care homes cannot allow residents to age in place if residents become unable to evacuate the home on their own or become non-ambulatory without special waivers granted from the State of Georgia. The granting of waivers is limited in number for personal care homes and is based on fire safety standards and staffing ratios. Personal care homes use proxy caregivers who do not have the same levels of training and certification in medication administration, while Woodland Ridge offers certified medication aides.

Skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes) provide nurse care and observation around the clock. These services are for individuals who need 24-hour care due to the advanced nature of their illness or disease. Such services include care of those individuals who are medically frail or have compromised health status due to chronic or acute illness.

Q: What types of services are available at Woodland Ridge?

As a licensed assisted living community, Woodland Ridge strives to provide a beautiful home for residents to “age in place.” We can provide both medication assistance and administration as the resident’s physical needs and cognition change.

We also offer assistance with activities of daily living such as hygiene, dressing, showering, grooming, toileting, and eating in a home-like setting that promotes independence. We offer the Friends for Life program in our secure memory care community.

The Friends for Life community also boasts an enclosed courtyard to promote a sense of wellness and connection to the environment. Our staff have extensive training in dementia care, including utilizing prompts and cues to assist our residents in their daily care, using our Life Stories program to plan activities that are relevant to each individual resident, and enhancing our Friends for Life program with special visits.

Q: Beside the initial assessment, are routine health assessments performed?

We do the initial assessment of all potential residents to ensure they meet the Georgia criteria to reside in an assisted living community. After a resident moves in, we perform a routine monthly check of vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. Residents are also monitored daily during medication administration to ensure there are no immediate health concerns. A geriatrician works with Woodland Ridge staff to provide in-home care and rounds for those residents who wish to see a physician without leaving the community. Our care staff also review residents’ needs on a quarterly basis to ensure the appropriate level of service.

Q: Do you have an Alzheimer’s community?

Yes, Woodland Ridge does have a secure memory care community. Our Friends for Life memory care program is designed especially for residents who need more care related to cognitive impairments than can be provided in our assisted living community.

Q: What happens when unscheduled needs arise?

Our staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to residents’ needs. All staff are trained in CPR and first aid and are well-qualified to respond to any of the needs of our residents.

Q: What is the staffing ratio for caregivers to residents?

For assisted living, we schedule a ratio of 1:12 caregivers during waking hours and 1:20 during non-waking hours. In our secure memory care neighborhood, we have a ratio of 1:6-8 based on resident needs during waking hours and 1:12 during non-waking hours. Our memory care manager is also available to assist with residents’ needs.

Q: Do you assist in finding new doctors for residents who come from another town or state?

We are very fortunate to have a local geriatrician who visits Woodland Ridge weekly to provide services to our residents. Additionally, we have a thorough knowledge of the physicians in the Atlanta and Cobb area and can assist you in finding a new doctor or specialist.

Q: Are pets allowed at Woodland Ridge?

No, we do not allow pets to live in the resident rooms; however, we do sponsor a monthly pet therapy program where pets visit our residents. Visitors are allowed to bring pets to visit a resident at any time.

Q: Can the resident keep the pharmacy they are using?

State regulations require all prescriptions to be in multi or unit dose security packaging and to have pharmaceutical reviews that most local pharmacies do not provide, so residents usually will order prescriptions through our contracted pharmacy. There is an exception for veterans where there are repackaging services available at discounted rates.

Q: Is self-administration of medication allowed?

Yes, but only with an order from a physician and with the resident’s ability to pass a self-administration safety test. Residents who administer their own medications must procure a lock box to maintain medication in the room and must undergo periodic testing of their ability to safely administer their medications. Woodland Ridge must also keep copies of all the residents’ orders for medications in order to provide accurate information to EMT staff if needed.

Q: Is the staff screened before hiring?

Yes, all employees must undergo a criminal background and reference check. Additionally, the registry for certified nursing assistants and nurses is verified. If the new hire will be asked to transport residents, Woodland Ridge also checks their driving records.

Q: Is transportation to doctors' offices provided?

Yes, but we request that appointments be coordinated with Woodland Ridge staff prior to the appointment so proper arrangements can be made.

Q: Do dining room menus vary from day to day and meal to meal?

Yes, the menus change daily and from meal to meal. Our menus are planned by a licensed dietician to ensure proper, well-balanced meals and good nutrition for our residents.

Q: Does Woodland Ridge accept volunteers, including family members?

Woodland Ridge has many volunteers who provide entertainment programs, worship programs, and assistance with scheduled activities. Volunteers are always welcome!

Q: Are there organized activities for all residents?

Yes, something fun and engaging is always happening at Woodland Ridge!

See our calendar here.

Our full-time activity director coordinates activities for the residents, and we have an additional program manager who provides activities geared for residents in our memory care program. Organized activities are posted daily, and our caregivers encourage residents to stay active. Some of the more popular activities include bingo, shopping trips, bus rides, church services, and exercise classes.

Q: My mom has some memory loss that concerns me. How do I start the conversation?

First, read or download our ebook Starting the Conversation.

Adult children often encounter resistance from their parents when they suggest that their parents consider moving to a community setting. If you think about it, they have worked a lifetime to gain and maintain their independence. Once they are established in a comfortable place and have a routine they are used to, it is very difficult for them to imagine moving. More than the idea of giving up a home that is becoming increasingly difficult to take care of, most people we talk to simply cannot mentally or physically imagine how they can accomplish the daunting task of packing everything, downsizing, and selling their homes–even when they know it’s the right decision to make.

We suggest that adult children take a positive, coordinated approach. Get the whole family on board for the move. Have a family talk with the parent so they understand that their entire support system will facilitate the move; they are not expected to do it alone. Have a general plan in place so that the big decisions have already been thought out and you have answers to their questions about how, when, where, what, and what if. You may also want to enlist advocates whom your parents trust such as members of the clergy, a physician, or close friends who have already moved into an assisted living community.

Take your parent out of the chaos—especially if your parent has dementia because chaotic or stressful situations confuse and upset individuals with dementia. We suggest that you have the new apartment ready for mom or dad before they arrive at Woodland Ridge. Have someone take them out for the day while others coordinate the move. After visiting a friend, shopping, and going to lunch, bring mom to her new apartment with her favorite furniture and belongings in place so she feels at home.

No one adjusts to new surroundings immediately. In general, we see new residents become acclimated and enjoying their new supportive lifestyle with new friends within 30 days. When it’s time to move, safety, security, good nutrition and hydration, good hygiene, medication management, and socialization all outweigh sentimental attachments or resistance to change.

We’ll be happy to consult with you and make recommendations about the logistics of making the move. We have many resources we can share. Our goal is to make the move a smooth and easy transition.

Q: My mom’s in rehab for a hip replacement. She is determined to go home but isn't ready. What to do?

First, you should Click Here to download or read our ebook Understanding Care Options

The good news is that your mom is in rehab and recovering from her injury with a brand new hip. Her stay in rehab will help her recover more quickly and with better long-term results; however, recovery for the elderly is often not as quick as it once was. With that in mind, going back to a home that no longer serves her needs is asking for another accident.

Rather than pushing absolute decisions, her recovery should continue to be day-by-day. Once she is released from rehab, bring her to Woodland Ridge for respite care.

While in respite care at Woodland Ridge, your mom can continue to get physical therapy and gain strength. We have 24-hour oversight, and assistance with activities of daily living – we’re happy to serve until everyone is comfortable with a return to her home.

Q: My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. When is it time to move him to an assisted living community?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that has a wide range of symptoms.

But there is good news. With proper medication management, cognitive stimulation, good nutrition and hydration, physical conditioning, and oversight, we can often slow the progress of the disease.

Our specialized memory caregivers understand how to communicate with residents suffering from memory loss, and help residents maintain better functioning for a more natural aging process.

While there is no present cure for the diseases, we now have effective medications and experienced professionals to provide the quality of life for each of our residents.

Download or read Starting the Conversation: Click Here

It’s important to begin the conversation at once. Talk to loved ones as early as possible about the transition to assisted living and help them understand the benefits of being in a community setting.

By talking now, you also allow your loved one to be part of the decision-making process before the disease progresses.

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