Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We know many seniors and their families have questions about assisted

living and Victoria's Care Home. Below are some of our most frequently

asked questions and answers. Don’t see your question here?Reach out

to us for more information.

Q: Where are Victoria's Care Homes located?
A: We have Three Facilities In North west Fresno California. 

Q: What care options are available?
A: Victoria's Care Home offers assisted living, short-term-stays for those with memory loss as well as coordination of hospice and other care services. Not sure what type of care you need? Call us and we will gladly ask the right questions to find out your specific needs.

Assisted living is best for seniors who need some help with certain everyday tasks such as getting dressed, bathing, meal time and taking medications and may also have specific care plans to address fall risk, poor nutrition or other individualized needs. Because assisted living needs are diverse and vary from resident to resident, each person has his or her own Individualized Care Plan, which details their care needs and preferences. We also offer respite or short-term stays, which help those with temporary care needs.

Q: What are the typical services provided in Victoria's Care Home Assisted Living?
A: Some of our residents in assisted living simply require general oversight and reminders while others need various levels of care and assistance. We can assist our residents with all of their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as showering, dressing, grooming and even dining. Each resident has an Individualized Service Plan that details his or her care plan and is regularly updated to meet evolving needs.

Q: How does the dining program work? Are residents given 3 meals a day? Are they able to eat only at mealtimes?
A: In assisted living, we serve three meals prepared daily by our caregivers plus snacks, we also offer an “always available" meal and snacks for our residents. 

Q: What training do Victoria's Care Home team members receive?
A: We provide continued education and training, clinical care protocols and multiple quality assurance measures to reinforce our strong standards. Victoria care home extensive training programs have been developed and is include classroom, online and hands-on training, and employee shadowing and mentoring. 

Q: Can Victoria's Care Home help if my mom or dad has experienced falls in the past?
A: We develop an Individualized Care Plan for each resident that details care needs and preferences and addresses safety concerns. If falling is a concern, the care plan may include interventions and special precautions to help address this issue.
Many of our daily activities and program offer exercise sessions that focus on strength and balance, which may assist in reducing the risk of falling.

Q: How is my level of care determined?
A: Upon move-in, the administrators will assess your current health and review your medical history to see how we can best meet your needs. They will also discuss your preferences as well as your normal routines to develop a care plan that’s tailor made for you. The individual care plan details your care plan and is regularly updated to meet your evolving needs.

Q: Do you have a medication management program?
A: Yes, Victoria Care Home has a medication management program, which may be added to an Individualized Service Plan and varies based on regulation. Residents participating in Victoria care home’s medication program may choose their own pharmacy or use Victoria care home's preferred pharmacy provider in town. 

Q: What is your staff to resident ratio?
A: Our staffing ratio is variable and adjusted constantly based on the needs of our residents at each community. Every resident’s Individual care plan outlines the type of care they need, which is delivered by a team who also learn each resident’s likes, dislikes and preferences, helping to anticipate a resident’s needs before they arise. Our residents and their care managers build very strong bonds.

Q: Can you help recommend a doctor?
A: We believe in a family’s right to choose everything – from a primary care physician to a physical therapist. Residents may keep their current physicians or our team can help them find physicians near the care home. Our in house doctor makes regular visits to our facilities, but a resident is not obligated to use him. We can also provide scheduled transportation for our residents who need a ride to a doctor’s appointment, for an additional fee.

Q: Do you offer any short-term stays?
A: Yes, we do offer short-term stays. A short-term or respite stay is a convenient option when planned or unforeseen circumstances occur such as a family vacation or recovery from an illness. Guests can receive assistance during an illness or rehabilitation after a hospital visit.

Q: Can I bring my own furniture?
A: Yes, you are welcome to bring your own furniture with you as this is your home! We encourage you to design your room to be as comfortable and familiar as possible.

Q: Can Victoria's Care Home provide me with furniture?
A: Yes, there are furnishings available should you choose not to bring your own furniture.

The Victoria's Care Home Experience

Q: How can I show my loved one I'm not taking away their freedom?
A: Keeping up a house, driving and living independently means a lot to most seniors, and suggesting senior living can make them feel like you are trying to take away personal independence. To prove otherwise, it’s important to show them how much independence and freedom they will enjoy at Victoria Care home.
The Victoria's Care Home Experience includes relationship-based care, which means the same people are caring for our resident’s day in and day out. The administrators get to know each individual’s unique needs and preferences and cater to him or her accordingly. Our team of serving hearts is committed to enriching seniors' lives each and every day. 

What is Hospice care

In the earliest days, hospice worked under a concept rooted in the idea of offering a place of shelter and rest to weary and sick travelers on a long journey.  The concept developed into an interdisciplinary approach providing comprehensive end of life care in the early 1960s in Great Britain.  It didn't make its way to the United States until the 1970s where that care was modeled to provide care in the patient's home environment and not in a designated hospice facility.

Hospice care will provide medical services, emotional support and spiritual resources for those who are in the last stages of any terminal illness.  The illness is not as important as the stage of the illness and the eminence of death.  Hospice will help family members manage some of the practical details of coping with individuals who are experiencing their last days and the emotional challenges of caring for someone who is dying.

The goal of hospice care is to keep the individual comfortable and improve quality of life they are experiencing while they are dying.  There is a large shift in philosophy in the medical care of these individuals from a focus on healing and treatments to a greater focus on an improving comfort and decreasing pain.

Some may believe that hospice services are intended to speed up or prolong the dying process but instead the focus is on relieving pain and other symptoms to make the individual more comfortable.  Caregivers are really concerned with enhancing the quality of the time remaining by keeping individuals as alert as possible and comfortable in familiar surroundings with friends and family.

To qualify for hospice care the physician must be able to document that an individual is expected to live six months or less.  It also means that individual will no longer receive treatment for their illness but rather receive palliative care. Palliative care is treatment given to relieve the symptoms but not cure the disease.  Only the individual and their family and doctor can decide when hospice care should begin.

One of the problems with hospice is that it is often not started soon enough because of resistance from patients, doctors or family members.  By beginning hospice care some feel it sends a message of no more future hope.  However, if the disease gets better or goes into remission the individual can always be taken out of the hospice program and go back into an active treatment.  The hope in the hospice is that it brings about a better quality of life making the best of each day during the last stages of an advanced illness.

Hospice is often set apart from other types of health care by not only the focus but also the way in which that focus is delivered.  In most cases an interdisciplinary team approach will manage the care which means that many disciplines work together to care for the patients.  Pain and symptom control are the goal to help individuals achieve a great deal of comfort allowing them to stay in control of their life up until the end. Hospice care also addresses the spiritual needs of the individual and their family and is set up to meet the specific religious beliefs expressed by both the individual and the family members.

Hospice care in the United States is centered in the home but at some point the individual may need to be admitted to a hospital or an extended care facility.  Hospice workers will help to arrange for inpatient care and stay involved in the treatment and with your family.  If it becomes suitable again for the individual to return home, hospice care workers will be there to help.

Hospice care is also able to help the family and caregivers receive some respite, or time away from intense caregiving.  The interdisciplinary team will regularly scheduled family conferences to keep family members and the rest of the team informed about individuals condition and what to expect next.

The hospice care team will continue to work with surviving family members through the grieving process and will often provide either a trained volunteer, clergy member or professional counselor to encourage families through visits, phone calls or by suggesting support groups.

Hospice care is a completely volunteer program and utilizes the professional knowledge of healthcare professionals or people who provide services that range from hands-on care to working in the office are doing some fundraising.  Hospice care workers will often be the link that many families require in need to provide them with the support, both physical and emotional, to get through this very painful and challenging time.

By: Victoria Care Home 

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a very loose word, as there are several different types of it.  It is not specific in description, but rather a catch-all term used as a symptom in many cases.  What we do know is that it impairs the thoughts of the brain.  This impairment affects many, if not all, aspects of life.  It affects our day-to-day living, our intellect, our behavior, and our relationships just to name a few.  

People with dementia may experience behavioral changes, become more agitated, not remember what was second nature to them, and even hallucinate.  These changes may come and go as well.  You cannot be too sure what they are thinking and need supervision at all times to avoid putting them at risk to themselves.  

A diagnosis of dementia is established by a physician.  The physician determines this diagnosis based on the symptoms of two or more malfunctioning processes of the brain.  These processes include the victim's perception, memory, reasoning, judgment, and/or language skills.  

In dementia, nerve cells just cease to function as they once did.  These nerve cells die off and cannot make the connection to the other neurons.  Classifications of dementia include cortical and subcortical dementia, primary and secondary dementia, and progressive dementia.  

One of the most common types of dementia is Alzheimer's disease.  This type of dementia is seen in persons over the age of 65.  It is not uncommon to know someone with this form of dementia as it affects approximately 4 million people in the United States alone.  In some cases, a defect in the genes produces an early onset form of the disease.  

Alzheimer's disease does not appear overnight, but rather over the course of many years.  Little by little more signs develop and Alzheimer's disease is then suspected.  We all forget occasionally or even more than that, but this does not mean it is dementia.  Dementia comes with other symptoms as noted above.  Memory loss is just one of the symptoms.  

Abnormalities in the brain depict dementia.  Inside the brain of a person with dementia you will find amyloid plaques in the tissues of the nerve cells.  You will also find neurofibrillary tangles, which are twisted filaments that are located within the neurons.  These plaques and filaments are made up of protein that interferes with the communication between its nerve cells and therefore death of the cells is inevitable.  

Treatment for dementia consists of medications.  However, there is no cure and progression can only be slowed down.  Research regarding Alzheimer's disease, as well as other types of dementia is being done all the time.  

There are ways to help yourself to attempt to avoid dementia.  By practicing good health measures, such as in diet, nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle habits, and seeing your physician for regular check-ups you can maintain optimum physical and mental health.  As well, keeping your mind sharp is important.  Make sure that you give your brain a good workout every day.  You can do this by using your writing skills, playing games, doing crossword puzzles, and reading.  By keeping yourself in good health, both physically and mentally you can be the best you possible.  

By: Victoria Care Home 

Health Insurance for seniors

Health insurance for seniors may be difficult to get above and beyond the standard Medicaid or Medicare coverage.  Medicare is the federal health insurance program that covers most people aged 65 and older while Medicaid is the federal insurance program used to cover those who are disabled no matter what their age.

There are some people who are younger than age 65 and who are disabled or who have end-stage renal disease who are also eligible for coverage under Medicare.  However, as with all other health insurance policies, Medicare does not cover everything.  Therefore many seniors look for other health insurance coverages that may cover the services which Medicare does not.

Medicare covers most acute medical conditions or conditions that the patient will recover from, but does not cover most care that is given at home, in assisted living facilities or in nursing homes.  That gap may be covered by Medicaid.

Medicare benefits are provided in four different parts called parts A, B, C and D. Medicare part A is premium free for most people and will help to pay for inpatient hospital care as well as some skilled nursing facilities and hospice.  Most people do pay a monthly premium for part B which is the part that helps to pay for doctors, outpatient hospital care and other therapies such as physical and occupational therapy.

Medicare part C allows for a variety of HMOs and PPOs to insure individuals with Medicare beneficiaries.  By federal law they must provide the same benefits that the original Medicare plan provides but are allowed to offer additional benefits such as dental and vision care.  To control costs these plans are allowed to limit a patient's choice of practitioners to those who are specifically in network.  In that respect Medicare part C operates much the same as an HMO does.

Medicare part D provides prescription drug benefits through private insurance companies and people must pay an extra premium each month which can vary from state to state and company to company.

Although Medicare does provide for different parts of their insurance coverage, to attempt to cover the majority of individuals and their needs there continues to be a gap in what is covered and what needs to be covered for our aging population.  This gap is usually covered by something called supplemental Medicare insurance which is offered by a private company.  There are 12 standardize plans that are defined by federal law but not all states offer all 12 plans.

As if this isn't confusing enough, Medicare also offers more than 40 booklets to help people understand the program and answer their questions.

One way to help you choose a supplemental insurance plan is to pick it up at the age of retirement.  As you grow older the price will increase incrementally each year but it will grow to a lesser degree if you have been a customer of the company since the day after your retirement. 

All of these supplemental plans should work in addition to your current benefits with Medicare or your primary care company, and not as the primary source of your health insurance coverage.  At some time seniors must see specialists for particular health problems, and while Medicare does not cover those necessities, many of the supplemental health insurance policies will.

Many of the supplemental health insurance policies cover anywhere from 50 percent to 80 percent of the balance remaining after a Medicare has paid their part.  There are many variables with the different Medicare plans and it's very hard sometimes to determine which option is best for the individual to use.  Sometimes, it can seem that supplemental insurance policies are not worth the extra money so the differences between a policy that costs $100 per month must be weighed against the cost of prescription and physician benefits in order to determine whether or not the supplemental plan fits the needs of the senior.

By: Victoria Care Home 

Emergency care for seniors

Emergency care for seniors is often inadequate because medical staff are not well educated and trained in dealing with this age group.  Due to their multiple health problems, this knowledge is important to have.  It is also thought that because of their increased age it is not quite as important as caring for someone younger.  

Studies have shown though that most elderly people that do require acute care return to their lives, upon recovery they are just as productive as before they fell ill.  Yet this age group, generally 65 and older, is less likely to be taken to a trauma center to get much needed emergency care.  

Some emergency care centers are taking action to change this, however.  In addition to physical renovations and improvements in the facilities themselves, some emergency care centers are also purchasing additional medical equipment, supplies, and making use of packets that contain pertinent health histories for this specialized age group.  This packet would include present medical history with all diagnoses listed, past surgeries, past medical conditions or procedures, and a detailed list of medications that they are taking at the present time.  
Encouraging senior patients to carry this information makes good sense considering that when an individual needs emergency care they are not often able to cite exactly what is wrong with them or the past and present medical information.  This capability of non-verbalization is related to many factors such as stress, pain, anxiety, or even being unconscious.  

In addition manufacturers are now producing specialized equipment to aid seniors in case of an emergency in their home.  All one has to do now is press a button and a medical personnel employee is alerted to your home.  This medical alert response system involves wearing a pendent around your neck at all times in case an emergency should occur.  

Seniors deserve the emergency care and respect just as anyone or any age would.  The age factor bias is an insult, although most would not admit that this is a factor.  We have to take a stand for our elderly and hold them in regard as valuable human beings.  It is bad enough that costly medications are forcing many of the elderly population to go without their much needed medicines due to their decreased economic status.  Seniors must be treated with dignity and respect that they earned in a lifetime of work and caring for others.

By: Victoria Care Home 

Recent research into elder care

The elderly population continues to grow each year.  Current estimates place the percentage of individuals over the age of 65 at around 18 percent of the population.  By the year 2020 that number is expected to rise to close to 25 percent.  Research into elder care continues to be a strong factor in designing and developing treatment protocols and recommendations for individuals over the age of 65.

The International Network for Research on Elder Care was founded in 1998 and made up of a group of social and behavioral science researchers from several different countries whose interests lie in developing programs which would better suit individuals in their senior years.  This group studies patterns and trends in diseases, functioning and disabilities that changed the needs in personal care for individuals who are elderly.  They also evaluate patterns of exchange and communication between generations and include the care received by older persons who are unable to live independently and the impact this has on public policy. (1)

This organization was founded in response to feelings among members that their countries had common demographic patterns and that comparing their research would be fruitful for each country.  Their goals are to formulate research questions, carry out projects, collaborate on comparative research, and produce findings that will be useful to policy analyst and providers of elder care services.

Great Britain has an individual Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE) whose aim is to combine research with care so that outcomes of the studies can have practical benefits to elderly people. (2)

Recent research has included studies on individuals with memory problems looking for therapeutic treatment protocols which may or may not involve drug treatments.  Trials involving the safety and effectiveness of new medications as well as integrating drugs already being used to treat other illnesses, such as Alzheimer's disease, are currently underway.

Some benefits to participating in studies for the elderly are that study participants receive regular checkups. Participation in studies also offer an opportunity for both patient and caregivers to talk with staff to help understand problems that are associated with the particular problems and offering opportunities to meet other people who have similar concerns.

Making decisions about elder care is one of the toughest jobs that face an extended family.  Families are faced with new services, industry-specific jargon and a number of alternatives that appear to be similar but may have differences which will significantly impacts the care your family member receives.  After factoring in family dynamics and other emotional issues many family members who are the decision-maker can become paralyzed and unable to move forward.

Currently studies are ongoing looking at the difference in nutritional needs for the elderly, sleep requirement for the elderly and how metabolic changes will impact side effects of medications or medication interactions of drugs which are commonly prescribed for illnesses and diseases that seniors face.  Other research studies are addressing the needs of individuals from space dementia or similar conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, the impact of bone loss and medications which may reverse the in the elderly and digestive changes which will impact the absorption of nutrients from the gut.

By: Victoria Care Home 

​Victoria's Care Home 

Mental health care for seniors

Over 18 percent of the 35 million adults over 65 years of age commit suicide each year.  Most have experienced depression throughout their life-time but it has gone undiagnosed or has been under diagnosed by the medical community.  Many think that depression is a normal part of the aging process or a reaction to chronic illness.  The elderly have also experienced loss because of their age and may not recognize the symptoms of depression in themselves. (1)

Due to their own failing health issues, changes in their economic status, changes in living conditions, or loss of friends to death more seniors are depressed.  They suffer from mental illnesses ranging from depression, anxiety, mood disorders and a reduced ability to complete cognitive functions. Depression in the elderly can be misdiagnosed as dementia, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, thyroid or Parkinson's disease because the symptoms in an individual who has limited physical cabilities can be so similar.

Realistically, an elderly person suffering from depression should be under the care of a psychiatrist who specializes in geriatric populations.  This age group has a considerably larger number of health care issues than do their younger counterparts and are on multiple medication regimens.  Their age and medications make them more sensitive to other medications and they are more likely to experience side effects and drug interactions. 

A psychiatrist or physician who is familiar with the elderly population will be better equipped to prescribe medications to assist the individual in the treatment of depression without creating another problem with side effects or drug interactions. For instance, symptoms of depression in the elderly can include memory loss, confusion, loss of appetite, vague complaints of pain, irritability and hallucinations.  Many of these complaints mimic other conditions and some are not symptoms found in a younger population.

Treatment for depression in the elderly includes regular exercise, minimizing alcohol or recreational drug use, surrounding themselves with people who are caring and talking about their feelings with someone they trust.  Unfortunately, due to their often isolated situation many of these treatment protocols can be difficult to use. 

As time progresses the number of seniors will only increase.  Lifespans are increasing and the number of individuals successfully reaching 65 years of age is also increasing.  This means that more and more of the senior population will experience mental health issues. The should be cared for in a setting that is appropriate for their age group and which addresses their other underlying medical conditions.  Mental health care treatments and facilities designed for a younger population can not adequately meet the needs of a senior mental health care patient.   

Changes in legislation are recognizing the seniors need for increase psychiatric care and are making advancements in improving this in regards to financial health care revisions so that they can get the care that they need.  In addition, researchers are attempting to discover the exact link between other health issues co-existing with depressive symptoms.  With hope and knowledge they will make the future just a little bit brighter for our seniors by finding a way to increase their quality of life.  

By: Victoria Care Home 

From the Blog

When to go to a nursing home

Moving to a nursing home or moving a loved one to a nursing home is often a heart-wrenching decision that does not come easily.  It requires much well thought out planning, a process of elimination, and a great deal of courage.  Even with that in place, it is a very difficult situation and one that leaves little choice in the matter.  

Having to go to a nursing home is either the choice of the person going into one or the choice of a family member or a close friend.  The primary reason for entering a nursing home is due to ill health.  The person entering a nursing home is either too ill to take care of himself, there is lack of insurance to continue in a hospital setting or obtain home nursing care, or a family member or close friend is unable to care for them any longer.  

In past generations and in other parts of the country it is typically the family who cares for an ill parent.  Today, due to dwindling and costly economic situations, families are forced to work outside the home for a longer length of time leaving nobody to care for their elderly family members.   

Other reasons to enter a nursing home are the possibility of the risk of injuries without anyone available to supervise the elderly's care.  Many of our elderly are lonely and therefore do not care to be alone without anyone around.  Some of our elderly have adult children, but they live out of town and therefore not available.  Many also do not drive anymore or their friends have either passed on or have moved into nursing homes themselves leaving all alone.  

A person entering a nursing home is at a great risk for depression.  They are being required to leave their homes that they may have lived in for most of their lives, but also many of their possessions, as there is not enough room in a nursing home to take them.  Another factor in the development of depression as an elderly person enters a nursing home is their loss of independence.  They are no longer able to maintain their same routine and must rely on others for assistance with their daily care.  

They must also abide somewhat to a change in their schedule, as they have known it.  Mealtimes are at the same time every day, activities are planned out and again according to a set schedule based on the nursing homes daily events and staffing availability.  Sometimes a person in a nursing home must agree to a different doctor, different church activities, and a different daytime/nighttime schedule.  

Many feelings are associated with the loss of having to leave one's home and enter a nursing home situation.  These feelings may be in the form of depression, anger, bitterness, sadness, and aggravation.  

Hopefully, after some time the person entering a nursing home situation will adjust and come to tears with it enjoying what is left of their life here on earth.  With the guidance, patient, and support of a loving family and a kind staff in the nursing home they can learn to be reasonably happy and regain some of the quality of life that they have had previously. 

By: Victoria Care Home 

Senior Community Centers

Senior community centers and senior living centers are actually different facilities.  Senior living centers are facilities which encompass anything from assisted-living to nursing homes.  Instead Senior community centers are facilities in which half-day programs are available for individuals over the age of 65.  It wasn't until the 1970s that senior community centers existed as we know them today.

As the population continues to age, and growing numbers of individuals reached the senior age bracket, it is important to look at these community Senior Center's as they impact the health of the older adult population.

Senior centers often give older adults the opportunity to gather together with people of like age to participate in recreational activities, service activities and social activities.  The older adult population often continues to have much wisdom and information to give to their community.  They often have the desire to give back without the physical capability of completing their tasks.

For example, many elderly have a plethora of stories that relate directly to information young children are learning in their history books.  These stories brings to life the history of our nation while at the same time providing the elderly population an outlet for their socialization.

Senior community centers often organize social activities including shopping, golf, and bowling.  Because there are usually large numbers of individuals gathered in one facility it is also a wonderful opportunity for healthcare services to be administered in the community.  These healthcare services are usually in the form of health screenings for a variety of medical conditions.

Senior community centers can also provide other services such as laundromats to help seniors receive all of the services they require in one place while out of their home.  These Senior community centers can also double as senior day care where individuals who are not capable of being left alone for long periods of time are able to socialize with others their own age while their children and family members are working or at school.

The next step from a senior community Center is Independent living Center.  Seniors who use independent living centers must be able to manage their own home and personal needs.  The next step is an assisted living facility where residents receive some custodial care such as help with bathing, dressing or eating.  Most assisted living communities offer a licensed nurse on staff and medical assistance 24 hours a day.

The structure of an independent living facility can be different from facility to facility.  Any housing arrangement designed exclusively for seniors will qualify it as a senior independent living facility.  Some of these facilities also includes senior community centers where individuals who continue to live in the community are brought together with seniors who live in an independent living facility.

Most senior community centers receive some tax benefits or a lottery funded benefits and will help individuals who are 65 years or older, widows or widowers who are 50 or older or individuals who are permanently disabled and 18 years or older.

In a study done in Pennsylvania researchers found that for individuals in their state the odds of being a senior center participant increased by 81 percent if the individual was on medical assistance and the odds of being a participant also increased by 23 percent if they had Medicare part B. (1)

Researchers also found that individuals who did not participate in senior community centers were more likely to have higher levels of emotional needs and activity of daily living level.  They were less likely to have medical assistance or Medicare and more likely to have lower levels of financial need.

Because senior community centers are relatively new in the history of the United States it is important for researchers to continue to evaluate the benefits of utilizing a senior community Center so that more seniors are able to participate and changes can be made to increase the number of benefits they enjoy.

By: Victoria Care Home