RN opens assisted-living business

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Originally published January 04, 2008

By Jon Stewart
News-Post Staff

RN Shahnaz Arshad has started Devotion Assisted Living in Walkersville. Husband, Syed Sajid, left, and caregiver Kadie Conteh, rear, help Arshad with the business. Her current residents are Leo Laders and Nancy Sweeney.

WALKERSVILLE — A registered nurse has opened an assisted living home in Walkersville.
Shanaz Arshad lives in Clarksburg. She works full-time as an RN for Genesis Health Care, which offers assisted living services for the elderly or disabled in 13 states.

She has two residents so far.

Arshad has four staff members to help take care of patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Arshad works a 3 to 11 p.m. shift.

Safety is the key, Arshad said.

“Caregivers can’t be sleeping,” she said. “They must look after residents and ensure that they are safely transferred from bed to wheel chairs or from wheel chairs to bathroom.”

Some of the conditions that lead to assisted living are arthritis, osteoporosis, congestive heart failure and hypertension.

Patients who suffer from dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease, try to walk on their own and must be watched, Arshad said.

“Residents should be given nutritious meals and medicine on time, and they should be bathed regularly and the beds kept clean,” she said.

Born in India, Arshad came to America from England in 2000 after a 22-year military career as an RN. She always wanted to open a business, so she worked as a nurse, saved her money, bought a house and was able to open in July.

Before joining the military, Arshad received her Bachelor of Science in nursing at the Nottingham School of Nursing in England, which is affiliated with Nottingham General Hospital.

The Department of Aging in Baltimore inspected her facility and licensed her business for five residents, she said, and department representatives in Frederick also have visited her home.

Either long-term care insurance or those with the financial means pay for the care, she said.

“Some pay out of pocket, or families might sell a property and put the money in the bank and that is how they pay,” Arshad said.

She does not accept Maryland Medical Assistance Program residents at this time and is undecided if she will because the reimbursements are so low, Arshad said.

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