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Frequently Asked Questions

Cheri and Brad dreamed of combining their talents in a way that would create an environment that was enjoyable to live in and work together. They liked to cook, garden, entertain and decorate. They wanted to integrate these things into a business that Bellingham would need and support for many years to come. They considered opening a bed and breakfast, but they were less than confident that Bellingham needed another B&B. Meanwhile, Cheri worked as an in-home caregiver, and Brad taught college astronomy.

With her history in care facility management, Cheri knew that there was, and always would be, a need for compassionate care for the elderly. She enrolled in the Bellingham Technical College nursing program and achieved her LPN certification.

Brad continued to teach and created virtual tours for a local realtor’s website. One of the homes he photographed caught Cheri’s eye. It had previously been remodeled by its wheelchair-bound owner. It had tile floors, a cozy den, and a large wrap-around deck with double French doors leading from two of the bedrooms out to the deck. The overall architecture was Mediterranean, unique for Bellingham, with archways and stucco and a real tile roof.

The local community of adult family homes (Fourth Corner Association) provided the mentorship needed to navigate the rigorous path to achieving a DSHS license. The requirements include several training courses, exams, and inspections. The hurdles included such things as dementia care courses, disaster planning, articles of incorporation, and lowering one of the bedroom windows by three inches. The result is Vining Villa Adult Family Home

  1. Is your care facility Medicare or Medicaid Certified?
    Vining Villa is not a Medicare certified agency. Neither is it contracted with the Washington DSHS Medicaid Program.

  2. What is your maximum capacity of patients?
    We have room for 6 beds at this time; two private rooms and two semi-private room.

  3. What is your staffing to patient ratio?
    Minimum of one person is on staff at all times (1:6 min). All staff members are Nursing Assistant Registered and our administrator is an LPN. There are as many as 3 caregivers on site during peak ADL hours. The owners are on site daily.

  4. Who is the RN you use?
    There are several RN’s available to Vining Villa. The choice is determined by the specific need. Residents and their families often choose to utilize an RN of their own for the assessment process and care planning, which is their right. Hospital discharge may involve another RN and Nurse Delegation tasks involve another, etc.

  5. How often does the RN see the patients?
    Assessment is done annually or more often if a change in condition is reported.

  6. Is the home entirely ADA accessible?
    The front entry is ramped. There is another ramp leading from one bedroom to the patio, and another out the back door from the dining room to the patio, and another into the attached garage for easy vehicle loading and unloading. The entire facility is on one level and the majority of the flooring is tile. We have a second restroom with a sink that is wheelchair accessible. If needed, a table and wash basin will be provided and maintained. Modifications to accommodate the needs of a particular resident can be negotiated during the admission process.

  7. What is your life safety program in the event of emergencies?
    We have several levels of emergency response; temporary emergency egress, temporary lodging displacement, and long term re-placement. Emergency egress is planned for evacuation in 5 minutes or less and practice drills are conducted. Temporary displacement means a night or two at a nearby facility, and long term re-placement means transfer to other facilities, such as other homes in our local association of Adult Family Homes. We also have emergency heat and isolation survival solutions in case of blizzard, earthquake, or long term power outage. Emergency water, food, and other survival gear is stored at the facility.

  8. What “levels of care” are you able to provide?
    Care includes assistance with activities of daily living, medication administration by an LPN, illness and wound care, and family advocacy. Residents who can feed, bathe, clothe, and toilet themselves are considered minimum-care. Those who need assistance or stand-by monitoring with some activities are medium-care. Those who need physical assistance with all of these activities are considered maximum-care. Vining Villa is prepared to provide all of these types of assistance. As a show of compassion residents can usually continue to remain at Vining Villa if they enter into hospice care.

  9. How much coordination is there with a patient’s family regarding patient’s care management?
    This depends on the cognitive status, negotiated care plan, and the general acuity of the resident. Typically, the family has a very significant role in developing and evolving the negotiated care plan. Any significant change in the patient’s needs, or change in the care, or of the living conditions provided, is immediately reported to the family (or to the power of attorney).

  10. What is your experience with dementia patients and what is your care management in that regard?
    The providers at Vining Villa have been trained and carry the specialty certification for dementia care and for mental health care. Our Administrator’s experience in this regard is extensive. A detailed resume is available during a tour of the facility. Alarms may be used in the case of exit-seeking behavior. No physical or chemical restraints are ever used. If restraints become necessary, Vining Villa will no longer be able to meet the needs of the resident and discharge to a secured facility will be arranged with the family.

  11. What is your experience with incontinent patients and what is your care management in that regard?
    All staff are formally trained and registered in the fundamentals of care giving – including incontinence. They are also trained and registered for nurse delegation. Residents are responsible for the cost of incontinence products for which Vining Villa can facilitate bulk purchasing.

  12. How do you manage bed-bound patients?
    Bed-bound includes a range of conditions but in general the patient must be repositioned every two hours if they can not reposition themselves. Range of Motion exercises are given for the legs, feet, and arms, etc. Bed baths, toileting, and skin inspections are also a routine part of the negotiated care plan of bed-bound patients.

  13. How do you bathe patients with very limited mobility?
    If possible patients are bathed in a shower on a bench. Some patients prefer to be hand-bathed on the bench without the shower. Some have to be bathed in bed. Bathing procedures are a standard part of fundamentals training which all staff receive. Requests for same-gender bath aides and for the method of bathing are honored.

  14. Are you equipped with a bath lift to facilitate tub bathing patients who cannot support themselves?
    A doctor’s order is required to obtain and use a Hoyer Lift. These lifts are never used to “lower” people into a tub. Tub bathing at Vining Villa is only for those assessed with sufficient mobility. Generally, Hoyer Lifts are ordered in conjunction with a special geriatric bath chair which can be wheeled into a roll-in shower. A Hoyer Lift and bath chair can also be used to facilitate a simple basin bath. If an existing resident has a change of condition that requires a lift, we evaluate whether we can continue to meet that resident’s needs at that time.

  15. What is your skin care management program?
    Cleanse, inspect, document, report. Application of creams or ointments as part of a medication regimen must be nurse delegated. Moisturizers can be applied if directed by the resident or as indicated in the care plan. All care products used, such as gloves, are non-latex and powder free.

  16. What is your infection control program?
    Each resident has their own hygiene supplies which are kept separate from others. Surfaces are sanitized. All staff members are trained in precautions and practice safe handling of body fluids and proper disposal of contaminated articles. Industry “standard practice” is utilized concerning hand washing and proper use of gloves.

  17. Are there shared or private rooms? How many of each?
    Currently there are two rooms which are private, and two large rooms which are semi-private.

  18. What are the bathroom and bathing facilities?
    There is one Jacuzzi and one shower stall. There are two toilets and one portable commode.

  19. Are meals brought in for patients or are they cooked in the home?
    Meals are cooked in home, served family style, and are health conscience. Special dietary needs are considered. There is variety, but breakfast is typically a seasonal fresh fruit combo with yogurt, and some sort of hot cereal like oatmeal. Coffee is ground fresh from whole beans. Eggs are served on request and cooked to order. Sunday breakfast is a special creation, based on the whims of the cook. Lunch is typically sandwiches and soup. Dinner typically includes such things as homemade bread or biscuits, roasted or grilled meats, casseroles, freshly made salads and desserts. Family members of residents are welcome to join us for meals on holidays, birthdays, or other special events. Home-cooked quality meals are a source of pride at Vining Villa. The cook welcomes requests.

  20. What do you provide and what does the resident provide?
    Most residents prefer to bring some personal items including furniture. Vining Villa will provide a bed and dresser as well as basic room décor if needed. The residents provide their own clothing. A community television area is provided with satellite service. A community phone with unlimited long distance is provided by the facility. Residents are responsible for private phone or TV service in their bedrooms if desired.

  21. What are your prices and what is included?
    Prices are only discussed as part of the tour but they are comparable to other homes in our local association. The monthly fee includes residency, community phone line, basic TV satellite service, food, utilities, communal areas, and compassionate care. Other provisions are negotiable.

    1. We hope these answers give you a better picture of the level of care and of the compassion we have available. Many questions are answered in more detail in our resident admission agreement. A copy of that agreement is included in the packet that you will receive as part of the facility tour and subsequent interview. Please feel free to call for more clarification or with any additional questions. We understand what a weighty decision you have before you and you are wise to investigate thoroughly. A home and its residents need to be a good match. You have family who need a home that is well-suited to them, and we have a home that needs family to whom it can give proper comfort, health, safety, and dignity.

      The Folks at Vining Villa

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. - Helen Keller
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