My Health Info and . . . the Mini-Mental exam!
I met with Director of Nursing, Pat Ferriter, RN to conduct the health screening portion of my admission.
Pat explained that she normally engages prospective residents in a casual conversation before conducting evaluations. Typically, there is a bit of anxiety around the process so establishing a rapport and getting the prospective resident at ease is important. I will admit she is good; I too had a bit of anxiety and she put me at ease. I would say that the review of my health, medications and medical history is similar to a typical discussion you would have with a new physician.
Mini Mental Exam
Then came the Mini Mental Exam, officially referred to as the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). I can tell you that the words ‘mental’ and ‘exam’ certainly increased my anxiety, but when they were combined and applied directly to me, I really started to rethink this project! Pat was great at explaining the exam and she empathized how this is never something they jump right into without establishing a level of rapport with the person being tested.
It was a very brief exam – you can learn more about it and see the test at: http://www.chcr.brown.edu/MMSE.PDF
One of the questions on the exam asks you to count backwards from 100 in a series of 7s (i.e. 93, 86, 79, 72, 65 . . .), not easy for me without paper or a calculator! After the exam, Pat took some time to explain each of the questions and their significance. She also explained that the exam is simply a tool to help determine if the prospective resident will be a good fit with the level of services provided at Paul Spring. It is never used as an exclusive evaluation instrument.
Lastly, I completed the contract with the marketing staff which is not as lengthy as the documents you review when buying a home, but in similar spirit. The Paul Spring staff was very good at walking me through the document which required my initials on each page and a few signatures. We talked about my apartment size, costs, my meal plan and additional services that are not included in my rental rate.
My thoughts on the admissions process
I have seen hundreds of applications for communities, I have had the admission process explained to me, and I have been there with individuals completing this. I can tell you it is VASTLY different when you are completing the documents with your name on it versus a friend or loved one. I can also see how this is a stage in the process where I might challenge my decision making. This is a great time for family, friends and loved ones to be there for the resident to share the emotions they are feeling.
At this point the staff asked me if I was ready to see . . . my apartment!