What is the best guidance in making the decision to place a loved one in a convalescent or rehabilitation center?

Visit the facility, meet the staff and follow your instincts. Ask your physician and those who have had someone at a facility. They will be able to give you expert advice and first hand experience. Remember though, that everyone looks for different thing and you have to do what is right for you. Consider the size of the facility and the location. Remember too that placement in a convalescent or rehabilitation center is not the last resort. Rather, it is a first choice for proper care and attention.

What is the atmosphere of a convalescent or rehabilitation center?

Like those managed by Virginia Health Services, a convalescent or rehabilitation center that you may be considering should evoke a home-like atmosphere in which residents maintain their own personalities, keep personal belongings from their previous homes, move about freely to visit other fellow residents, and participate in planned activities, while receiving necessary nursing care and attention.

Are convalescent centers required to be licensed?

To assure that your loved one is in the care of a facility of the highest standards, it is recommended that you select a facility which is state-licensed as a nursing home. All of Virginia Health Services’ convalescent centers strive to maintain the highest standards. Our facilities have routinely received great scores during unannounced inspections.

What is the difference between a convalescent center and a retirement home?

Convalescent centers offer 24-hour medical care by a team of professionals which includes Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses who work closely with an attending physician, plus our entire staff is under the direction of a licensed administrator. They are joined by other specialists including physical and recreational therapists, activities directors, social workers, and dietitians, so that we can provide our residents with the highest level of care possible. Retirement homes provide only minimal medical care.

Retirement homes are for those who are more independent and choose a lifestyle in which meals, home maintenance and other services are offered in a secure environment with other seniors. Virginia Health Services is proud to offer these services at The Arbors, located in the Port Warwick area of Newport News.

Can a resident keep his or her own doctor?

Yes, we encourage physicians to continue medical care for our residents. If a resident does not have a physician, we are glad to assist in the selection process.

Can residents bring personal items?

Most convalescent centers, and certainly those of Virginia Health Services, encourage residents to bring along such items as a favorite chair, family pictures, personal decorative items and a television, to create a home-like ambiance.

Can residents have visitors?

All Virginia Health Services convalescent centers encourage visitation. Visiting hours at all of our facilities are 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. every day.

Can residents leave the facility for outings and family events?

We have found that residents who go out for visits are better adjusted. Only if there is a critical medical reason would we discourage leave. Virginia Health Services also has a bus specially equipped for our residents with physical disabilities. Our Activity Departments schedule several outings a month to restaurants, shopping, and other exciting events!

What type of social setting is provided?

We continuously provide special events such as bingo, musical programs, religious activities, movies, coffee groups, arts and crafts clubs, and ice cream socials that are designed to keep our residents active and mentally alert.

What about meals?

At Virginia Health Services we realize the importance of nutrition to the elderly. All of our meals are prepared within our convalescent centers in accordance with specific health and medical standards, and we prepare special diets for individuals whose doctors prescribe them. Our residents may be served in their rooms, but mealtimes in our dining rooms are excellent occasions for visitation and fellowship. We serve three main meals a day, plus snacks. Families of our residents are welcome to share meals at any time for a nominal fee.

Are residents required to pay an entrance fee?

Not at Virginia Health Services facilities. We charge a daily rate, and no initial deposits are required.

Are residents accepted on a short term basis?

Yes, we accept residents who need a brief recovery period following an illness, accident, surgery or other medical problem requiring short term nursing care. In addition, we also offer Respite Care for residents whose families need additional care giving support during emergencies or vacations.

Is Skilled Care or Rehabilitation provided?

Yes, we provide Medicare-certified Skilled Care at all of our facilities and rehabilitation for residents who require a higher level of nursing care and who meet the medical criteria.