Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the application process?

A. The first step is to contact the Friendly Home’s Admissions Office by calling 585-385-0271. This provides the opportunity to discuss your specific situation with our Admissions Team. The course of our application process depends on whether you are applying from the community (i.e., home, assisted-living facility) or from a hospital.

Next, the Friendly Home’s Admission Application must be completed and submitted; this can be done online by clicking here, or you can print out the application, complete it and send it to the Friendly Home by fax at 585-385-0225 or mail to 3156 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618.

In addition, medical information will be required from your primary care physician. If you are applying for admission from home, a Release of Health Information Form must be submitted, which grants the Friendly Home permission to obtain pertinent medical information from your doctor. If you are applying for admission from the hospital, your medical information will be sent upon request to the Friendly Home by the hospital’s social worker/discharge planner.

Prior to admission to the Friendly Home, a Patient Review Instrument (PRI) will need to be completed. A PRI is a New York State required health assessment. If you are applying for admission from home, a PRI may be conducted by a local nursing agency. If you are applying for admission from a hospital, this paperwork will be completed by a hospital social worker/discharge planner. In either case, the completed PRI should be submitted to the Friendly Home by fax at 585-385-0225 or mail.

The Home’s Placement Committee will review the completed documentation (Admission Application, PRI, financial and medical information) and follow up with you within 24 hours of receipt.

Q. Can I see my own doctor at the Friendly Home?

A. Yes, if your physician is willing to do so and can meet the standards for the facility. Your physician should contact the medical staff office at 585-385-0206 and request an application.

Q. How many medical professionals are on staff at the Friendly Home?

A. The Friendly Home has a Medical Director and Attending Physicians on staff who are board-certified in internal medicine. A Physician Assistant and two licensed and certified Gerontological Nurse Practitioners are also on staff. They have extensive training in the diagnosis and management of diseases and other medical problems.

Each of the Friendly Home’s nursing units is supervised by a Nurse Manager (Registered Nurse) in addition to an Assistant Nurse Manager or Clinical Coordinator. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and a unit secretary complete the nursing staff on each unit. An RN Supervisor is always on-site at the Friendly Home, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Friendly Home is proud to maintain a staffing plan that exceeds local averages of ratios of RNs, LPNs and CNAs to Members. Moreover, the Home practices Primary Care Nursing, which strives to ensure that Members are cared for by the same nurses and assistants as much and as often as possible. This fosters a sense of comfort and familiarity for Members, and enables our nursing staff to provide better, more effective care.

Q. How will you get to know my family member?

A. Our staff takes great pride in knowing our Members as individuals, each with his or her own personal history and distinct personality. In many cases, a pre-admission tour and/or interview is conducted with Members or their families. During these personalized visits, we are able to address your specific needs and questions. Upon admission, professionals from a variety of disciplines (medical, nursing, social work, recreation, dining services, etc.) will perform an assessment of the new Member and start getting to know him/her. On an on-going basis, care planning meetings are held with the Member, family and Friendly Home team.

Q. What is your policy regarding food choices and alternatives?

A. We understand that each Member has unique needs and preferences which we make every effort to satisfy. Unlike acute care institutions such as hospitals, the Friendly Home’s diet is liberalized based on geriatric standards. Your dietitian will meet with you, explain your diet as prescribed by your doctor, review any restrictions and provide individual counseling. Meal substitutions and alternatives are always available.

Q. How do you meet the special needs of people who have some type of memory impairment?

A. Employees who work in the Memory Care Center receive specialized on-going training and education in caring for Members with Alzheimer’s and related conditions. Emphasis is placed on consistency and routine, and primary care nursing is practiced to ensure familiarity and comfort. All rooms are private as memory loss patients frequently have strong feelings regarding personal possessions. Recreational events and activities are tailored to best meet the needs of memory care Members, and to naturally use their energy during the day and rest better at night. The unit is secure for Members who wander, a common trait for Members with memory issues.

Q. Do the CNAs/nursing assistants take care of the same group of resident each time they work, or do you rotate the assignments after a period of time?

A. At the Friendly Home, we practice primary care nursing, which means that the same nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) care for the same Members. This approach fosters not only an environment of familiarity and camaraderie, but allows caring relationships to form between Members and staff.

Q. What is your organization’s policy regarding the use of “agency” staffing?

A. The Friendly Home does not use agency staffing at all.

Q. What is the turnover of your staff?

A. One benchmarking statistic we are particularly proud of at the Friendly Home is our staff retention percentage. The average yearly turnover rate averages 13%, which is significantly lower than the national average. We firmly believe that a happy staff translates into happy Members and families.

Q. Do you measure Member/family satisfaction each year?

A. Yes! A comprehensive annual survey is conducted to seek the feedback and comments of our Members and their families. Results of this survey are shared through newsletters, our website, a prominently displayed bulletin board, information packets, and letters to Members and families. We are very proud of the consistently high marks we receive on this survey each year, and also use the process to identify opportunities for improvement and to develop and implement action plans accordingly. In addition, the Friendly Home undergoes an audit each conducted by the New York State Health Department. Again, the results of these inspections are posted online and in various communications. The Friendly Home also regularly benchmarks our satisfaction levels against those of other nursing homes both locally and nationally.

Q. How do you build a sense of community, and give those who live here a voice in the decisions about how things are done?

A. At the Friendly Home, we refer to our residents as “Members” to foster an environment of belonging and camaraderie. There are many opportunities for Members to become involved in decisions that directly impact them; for instance, there is an active Members’ Council which provides a forum for Member representatives from each unit to ask questions, make suggestions, and provide input and feedback. Members may also participate on the Food Council to offer opinions and help plan menus. Recreation team members also meet with Members on each unit on a monthly basis to plan events and activity calendars. Members and their loved ones are asked each year to complete a Member/Family Satisfaction Survey in which they have an opportunity to rate the Friendly Home in a wide variety of areas. As well, Members are encouraged to participate in care planning meetings.

The Friendly Home fosters a sense of community in many ways: family-style dining rooms, activities such as our weekly cocktail hour, monthly birthday parties, special events such as our annual Strawberry Festival, holiday parties and summer family picnics, and use of common areas such as the Family Gathering Lounge, the Gift Shop & Café, garden patios and our front porch.

Q. How is your nursing home involved in culture change?

A. The Friendly Home’s leadership team has been devoted to making changes that minimize institutionalism and promote patient-centered, resident-directed care. The Home’s leadership team and supervisory staff have been trained as certified Eden Associates, meaning they have undergone training to serve Members and view nursing homes as places where older adults live as habitats for human beings rather than facilities for the frail and elderly. Most importantly, Eden teaches us that decisions belong with our Members, or as close to our Members, as possible. Our Members want, need, and deserve autonomy over their daily lives. In place at the Friendly Home are committees comprised of staff, Members and families which are dedicated to promoting choice, self-directed care and fostering relationships.

Q. How are you going about transforming your nursing home into a place that is less like an institutional setting and more like a home?

A. In 2010, the Friendly Home completed a $22 million construction and renovation project intended to achieve a more home-like and comfortable environment for our Members and families. The project included the creation of companion suites that allow for more space and privacy in shared rooms; each side of the suite also has its own window and temperature controls. Beautiful furnishings, carpeting and artwork create a lovely ambience throughout the Home. There are many lounges, patios and gathering areas where Members may enjoy visits with each other and/or loved ones. Additionally, many Members choose to bring in their own furniture and are encouraged to personalize their rooms so they feel at home. Each of our units features a restaurant-style dining room with waited service, fostering a sense of companionship and family at meal time. The Home’s culture change committees promote choice, resident-directed care and strong personal relationships.

Q. How do I pay for nursing home care?

A. Individuals coming to the Friendly Home must have an approved payment source. These sources include private resources, Medicare, approved Medicaid status or long-term-care insurance. Please note that Medicaid-pending status is not an approved payment source.

Q. Will Medicare pay for long-term care?

A. 100 days of long-term-care coverage are available but not necessarily guaranteed from Medicare. You must meet Medicare guidelines to be covered. Technical eligibility requires that you have a three-day hospital stay within 30 days prior to your admission to the Friendly Home and have a required skilled need, such as rehabilitation (physical or occupational therapy), wound care, IVs, etc. If you have used any of your 100 days of Medicare coverage in a nursing facility within the past 60 days, these days will be deducted from your 100 days of coverage.

If you are covered by Medicare, days 1-20 are paid in full. Days 21-100 are co-payment days. The Friendly Home’s current Medicare co-payment is $164.50 per day. A secondary insurance may contribute to this co-payment.

MVP Gold/Excellus Medicare Blue Choice
If you have MVP Gold or Excellus Medicare Blue Choice, you have assigned your Medicare benefits to them. Technical eligibility is the same as Medicare. If you are covered by MVP Gold, days 1-20 are paid in full. Days 21-100 are co-payment days. MVP Gold co-payments are $135 per day.

Excellus Medicare Blue Choice co-payments vary based on the policy. To find out what your co-payment may be, please call Excellus at 877-883-9577.

If you are admitted to the Friendly Home for long-term care and plan to use one of our house physicians, you will need to notify your insurer that you changed your provider. This is not necessary for our transitional care patients.

Blue Choice/MVP
These insurances need to have prior authorization for services but will usually pay in full for rehabilitation. This will also cover medications, labs and X-rays. Your stay will be reviewed by a case manager.

Other Insurance
Please check with your insurance carrier regarding other commercial insurance coverage.

In order to continue with your insurance coverage, you must demonstrate progressive improvement toward your therapy goals. Most insurances require that you work with therapies, at the very minimum, for 15 minutes per day. Exceptions are made if you are covered for other medical/skilled needs, such as IV antibiotics or wound care. Please contact Member Services if you have questions about your insurance coverage.

Please provide us with copies of all your insurances upon admission and any time, thereafter, that you change insurances.

Any costs not covered by your third-party insurance plan will be billed privately.   

Custodial care is not covered by Medicare at any level of care. Custodial care is routine care for activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, toileting, etc.

Q. How does the Friendly Home compare to other local nursing homes in terms of cost?

A. The Friendly Home is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization. As such, any surplus (“profit”) is invested back into the Home to maintain and enhance the exceptional quality of care and services we provide. The Friendly Home provides outstanding value, and our costs are comparable with other nursing homes in the community.

Q. Can I request a private room?

A. Based on availability, applicants with the ability to pay privately may request a private room. Please note that Medicaid does not cover the cost of a private room and that families or other sources may not make up the difference in cost for a private room.