At this month's Resident Council meeting our activities director told us activity outings are almost nonexistent. The activity department is suffering because Ohio's Medicaid Bundling requires the facility to transport all residents to their medical appointments. With the facility bus transporting residents to appointments, there is little time that it can be used for activities' outings.
This month the residents started going to Wheelchair Volleyball games which will be every Tuesday afternoon for 6 weeks. If their volleyball game conflicts with a resident's medical appointment time, the volleyball trip will be canceled. The residents talked about the situation but nobody really complained. However, they would like to go out to eat at different places, which they have not done since last summer. Spring and summer activities and outings are usually planned at March's Resident Council meeting. But this year the activity director wrote down our suggestions and will try to schedule them when the bus is available.
The facility was using the county's accessible medical transportation bus for some resident medical transports. But now they can no longer do that without a contract.
The facility can use the company's step van to transport residents who can transfer into a regular seat. But those who must travel by wheelchair travel in the lift bus.
In troubled economic times, nursing home resident recreational transportation may not be deemed a necessity. However, it does help those who go have a sense of community involvement as well as a change of scenery.
Other facilities in Ohio must be feeling the pinch just as we are. It will be up to the facility to creatively plan functions here that will give the residents something different and entertaining to do.