Witherell Announces Service Enhancements: Palliative and ENT Care, and Respiratory Therapy

Witherell Announces Service Enhancements: Palliative and ENT Care, and Respiratory Therapy

Our nursing home residents frequently have illnesses and ailments that require specialized attention and expert care. These problems can be excruciating, often necessitating sophisticated pain management measures.

With that in mind, The Nathaniel Witherell has added service enhancements in palliative and ENT (ear, nose and throat) care, and respiratory therapy. Attending doctors and therapists will be able to diagnose and treat residents requiring specialized geriatric medical services, alleviating the need for those residents to leave the building for professional care in treating conditions such as congestive heart failure, hearing loss, pneumonia, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). “The goal is to optimize the medical care, quality of life, and emotional well being of all of our residents,” notes Lynn Bausch, Witherell’s Director of Nursing.

Ms. Bausch noted that Dr. Caroline Lodato, a palliative care specialist associated with Greenwich Hospital, will now make rounds at Witherell twice a month. She will see residents that require pain management and consult about treatment plans with their families and attending staff members. According to Bausch, Dr. Lodato will also be a great resource to families when it comes to deciding whether their loved one should be put on palliative care.

Complementing the services of Witherell’s staff audiologist, Dr. Jeffrey Kerner, an ENT-otolaryngologist associated with Bridgeport Hospital, will see residents at Witherell once a month to diagnose and treat residents with ear, nose and throat issues. Dr. Kerner will be able to do hearing loss evaluations and earwax removal (which is a very painful ailment for seniors), and treat such conditions as ear infections, ear abnormalities, sinus issues, and dizziness.

In addition, Witherell has contracted with O2 Safe Solutions, which is the center’s oxygen supplier, to have Cynthia Charles Maignan, a respiratory therapist, come two to three times a week to see residents. Ms. Charles Maignan will be responsible for making assessments and care plans for residents suffering from such illnesses as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, COPD, asthma, and chronic bronchitis. She can also assist with tracheotomy care as well as BIPAP and CPAP (ventilator) care. (In addition, Michael Franco, MD, a pulmonary disease specialist who is associated with Greenwich Hospital, oversees Witherell’s Pulmonary Program and is available for consultation.) “By having a respiratory therapist on site, we can quickly evaluate symptoms and treat pulmonary issues, thereby reducing hospitalizations,” says Bausch.

High Quality Nursing Home Care at The Nathaniel Witherell

These service enhancements are part of Witherell’s overall plan to uphold the high quality of nursing home care that it has become renowned for on a national level. Witherell was recently named in the top 13 percent of all nursing homes in the country for 2016-17 by U.S. News & World Report. This is the eighth year in a row that Witherell has received this prestigious honor, awarded only to those nursing homes that rate highest in terms of health and safety standards, nurse staffing and care times, and quality of care. 

U.S. News nursing home ratings are based on data supplied by Nursing Home Compare, a program run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that sets and enforces standards for nursing homes. Since its inception in 2009, Witherell has received CMS’s highest possible 5-star ranking.

Other hallmarks of Witherell’s high quality care include a staff turnover rate that is more than six times lower than the national nursing home average. (Witherell’s annual nursing staff turnover is 7%, compared to a national average of 46%, as reported by AARP.) The facility also has one of the lowest hospital readmission rates in New England, currently at 13 %.

In addition, Witherell is deeply commitment to the philosophy of person centered care, meaning that care is respectful and responsive to residents’ preferences and needs, and that they and their families are involved in all clinical decisions. At Witherell, residents are involved in setting up their daily routines, including what time they eat and receive services. There is a calendar of events from which to choose, and, as there are no set visiting hours, family and pets are always welcome.

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