Grace Morgan House Assisted Living

FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Grace Morgan House licensed?  By who?

The Grace Morgan House (GMH) is licensed as an assisted living facility and regularly inspected by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.  We are also licensed and inspected for our Medicaid program.

How often are fire drills held?

We are fully sprinkled and have fire detection systems throughout the building.  We conduct quarterly fire drills, have regular fire safety training and are inspected quarterly by the Methuen Fire Department. The Fire Department is ¼ mile away,

Is the Residence operated by a large corporation with head offices in another area or is it owner operated?

We are independently owned and operated.

Can you describe the menu?  Is the food healthy, varied and appetizing?

Our food is home cooked and prepared by a cook with a restaurant background versus an institutional food services background.  We have great food. Nearly everything is made “from scratch.” We use fresh fruits and vegetables. Our cook regularly bakes fresh items. Our menu changes regularly and features many comfort foods that seniors often prefer.

How is pricing structured?

We have an all-inclusive price which provides for unlimited care (as long as the Resident meets our residency criteria), and all services and amenities.

We do not have the “a la carte” pricing found in most assisted living residences. Families frequently go into sticker shock when they receive the first month’s bill in these facilities.

Do you charge a “community fee”?

We do not believe that it is fair to charge a non-refundable, one month’s rent up front (often referred to as a “community fee”). We do have a $500 one-time fee that is paid at the time we accept an application, pending assessment.  Typically, if the person does not move in, this fee is refunded.

What is the staffing ratio between Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Residents?

We have the highest staffing ratio in the Merrimack Valley.  We have 1 CNA to every 13 Residents versus a ratio of 20 to 1 in most other facilities.

Is there a high turnover of staff?

GMH has an exceptionally low staff turnover.  Our people enjoy working here. We treat our people well and they, in turn, treat the Residents well. While there are many, many CNAs in the Merrimack Valley, in reality there are very few truly caring and professional CNAs.  Suzanne and I are very proud of the ones who care for the people at the Grace Morgan House.

 

What kind of staff is on duty around the clock?

GMH has a 24 hour per day wake staff.  During the day and evening we are fully staffed with between 3 to 8 employees here at any given time. Overnight, from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM we have one CNA on duty.

Are there long distances and hallways from the resident’s apartments to the dining room / common areas?

We have no long distances between apartments and common areas at the Grace Morgan House. The longest walk a resident would have would be approximately 50 feet. The short distances invite Residents to come to the common areas rather than self-isolate in their apartments. We always go around to every apartment to remind each Resident to come for meals and join in our activities.

Are there hospitals / emergency facilities close by?

Holy Family Hospital is less than one mile to our west.  Lawrence General Hospital is less than one mile to our south

How are emergencies handled?

We have a clear policy of calling 911 when a resident is in need of help.  Because the local Fire Station is less than ¼ of a mile away, response time is typically less than two minutes.

If I have an issue, how do I reach someone with the authority to resolve it?

Suzanne and I are always available to work through any issues a resident or their family may have.  We are at GMH most of the time and are reachable by telephone 24 hours per day.

May I speak to your Residents about the activities and programs?

Absolutely!  In fact we encourage prospective Residents and their families to spend some time meeting and speaking with our Residents. Talk to them about how they like living here, you will be pleased with what you hear.

What if my mom were too ill to come to the dining room?  Would a meal be delivered to her apartment? Is there an extra charge for this service?

When Residents are ill or recovering from a hospital stay, we routinely bring meals their apartment.  There is no additional charge for this service.

Does the residence allow Residents to bring their own furniture? Are you able to provide furniture? Is there a furniture rental charge?

We encourage our new Residents to bring furniture, photos and other personal items from home. Having their things with them helps to make Residents more comfortable and provides a sense of continuity.  However, we also have an inventory of quality furniture that we provide to families if they would like us to furnish the apartment.  Unlike many residences, we do not charge for furniture rental. 

How are prescription medications ordered? Does the facility offer a medication management program?

We have a medication management program.  All resident medications are pre-packed in color coded cassettes and delivered to GMH.  They are kept locked in the resident’s apartment and our CNAs come at the prescribed time to unlock them, remove the right medication and observe and document that the resident has taken it. Residents also have the option of being totally independent with medications, or having the family fill their medication cassettes.

Do Residents receive a written service plan that covers the specific kinds of care a Resident receives?  How often is this revised and adjusted?  How much input do Residents and their families have in their service plans?

Our registered nurse meets with new Residents and their families to create a plan of care.  We formally review this plan at 30 days and again every 6 months.  However, we frequently update and modify care plans throughout the year as a Resident’s needs change.  We invite full participation by the Residents and their families in the creation of the care plan.

What kinds of professionals are on staff?

We have the same professionals as large, corporate assisted living facilities.  We have a registered nurse, licensed social worker, activities directors, licensed dietician (as a consultant), kitchen manager, housekeepers, program director and a full compliment of certified nursing assistants. There are 18 people on our staff.

Does the facility provide housekeeping and laundry services?  Is there an additional charge for these services?

We provide full laundry and housekeeping service.  There is no additional charge for these services.

Are there any limits on when family and friends can visit? Can they join Residents for meals? Is there a charge?

We strongly encourage family and friends of our Residents to visit as often as they are able. We enjoy having them for guests at our mealtimes.  There is no need to call ahead and there is no charge.

Can Residents go out for days / weekends etc. for visits with family?

Residents may go to visit family and friends anytime they like for any period of time they wish.  We do ask that Residents and their families let us know when they are going out.

Are there any restrictions on a Resident coming and going freely for walks or outings from the residence?

Technically, all of our Residents are free to come and go as they please.  As a practical matter, we know which of our Residents are at risk for getting lost.  Should one of these Residents indicate that they want to go for a walk, we would re-direct them and notify the family of the situation. Otherwise, Residents may come and go as they please.

Who should I call if I have a question about my mom’s care?

Suzanne and I are available to address any and all concerns. Our door is open. Our registered nurse and social worker are also available to answer your questions. We encourage our CNAs to openly communicate with family members as well.

What types of emergency call systems are available?

We have two emergency systems.  The first are hospital-type pull cords located in the Residents’ apartment as well as throughout the building.  The second emergency system utilizes a locket or bracelet with a button. When the button is pushed, the system notifies our staff that an individual needs help and indicates their location. 

Are there religious services conducted on the premises?  What kind?

St.Lucy’s Catholic Church conducts mass at GMH once per month.  All denominations are invited to attend.  Sister Rena comes one time per week to visit with our Residents.

What types of security systems does the residence have?

We have alarms on all entries to the building. In addition, we have a strict protocol each evening for insuring that all entrances are secure and alarmed for the night.

Do Residents have frequent opportunities to socialize with each other?

Our small size creates many opportunities for Residents to start up casual conversations. We also try to gently nudge Residents who want to stay in their apartments to get out and spend time with other Residents or participate in our activities.

Does the facility arrange day trips or any other off-site activities for Residents?

We regularly take those who choose to go out for lunch or events.  Our Residents seem to enjoy these a great deal!

Is the activities program flexible and spontaneous enough to allow activities with individuals and small groups of Residents?

Because of our small size, we are able to customize activities for a small group or even create special activities for a single individual.

Is the residence close to stores / shopping areas?

There is a major shopping area nearby. There are other shops (CVS, convenience store, etc.) located a short walk away. 

Is there a beauty salon with hairdresser services available?

We have a small beauty salon in the residence.  Our hairdresser (an independent contractor) comes every week. 

Does the residence accept Medicaid-funded Residents?

We offer both the GAFC and SCO programs for Residents who meet the financial and clinical requirements. While Residents on these programs are expected to share an apartment, they receive the same care and services as our private pay Residents. 

Grace Morgan House  489 Prospect Street  Methuen Massachusetts  01844     978 682 4324