Whispering Heights

Whispering Heights is a 60-bed intermediate care facility. Attached to the hospital, the facility offers convenience in accessing a wide variety of healthcare services as well as amenities to meet the individual needs of each resident.

Our Mission

Our mission is to promote the physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of each resident. To do this we actively involve the residents and families in making decisions for their care. We are truly concerned about protecting each resident’s rights and freedom of choice as they live in our facility.

Whispering Heights Brochure

At Whispering Heights we realize how important it is for our residents to be able to do the things that remain meaningful to their lives. The individualized approach to activities used at Whispering Heights ensures the unique needs of each resident are met. Each household identifies the intricate details necessary to fill each resident’s day with meaningful activities. In addition to individual activities, we encourage our residents to be involved in scheduled activities. Calendars are updated each month with specific time and dates for the scheduled activities. We also focus heavily on the activities of daily living, or the daily tasks each of us perform in our home. This helps provide the residents with a sense of belonging and helps them feel useful and valued.
We love to have family and friends visit our households and spend time with our residents. The community and area schools have become very involved by providing programs for the residents and spending time at the facility.

August 2017 Activities Calendar

Usage

Whispering Heights provides a large wheelchair accessible van for the resident’s use. The facility has class D licensed staff to take residents to appointments in Rock Valley.

Personal usage of the van will be provided for a fee. Out of town trips will be limited to a 150 mile radius of the community. Overnight trips will not be permitted. Special events will be considered upon request. Please inquire with Nursing, Activity, Social Service or Office staff on the availability of the van.

Fees

The cost of the trip will be the responsibility of the resident and/or family member. Resident and/or family can expect to see one charge for the mileage billed out at the federal mileage reimbursement rate and one for staff time spent driving. If the driver’s work time exceeds eight hours, and overtime fee will be charged. Residents who utilize Medicaid monies will be limited to medical and dental appointments unless the family agrees to pay for special trips.

Prior to using the van, an estimate of the costs related to the trip will be provided to the resident and/or family. The existence of the van does not diminsh the family’s responsibility to the resident. If possible, the family or responsible party should be available at the designated time to accompany the resident to the appointment.

Please contact Whispering Heights for more information at 712-476-8200.

Family Parties

Our facility has multiple different options for family gatherings or parties. The activity room, private dining room, or senior citizen center will be made available to residents and/or families when arrangements have been made with the facility. You can contact WhisperingHeights for availability at 712-476-8200 or stop by the WhisperingHeights office. There will be no additional charges for residents to utilize the rooms. We only ask that you leave the rooms the way you found them, pick up your trash, and wipe tables off when finished. We also ask that respect be given to the other residents living in Whispering Heights while you enjoy the use of our facility with your loved one.

Social Services provides a variety of services to Whispering Heights. Our Social Workers strive to advocate for our residents and their families. Our goal is to provide every resident with a meaningful aging process. To maximize this goal, our Social Workers work hand-in-hand with individuals and families as they make decisions regarding long-term care at Whispering Heights. During the admission process, a Social Worker works closely with other departments to ensure a smooth and pleasant adjustment process for each resident. During a resident’s stay at Whispering Heights, our social workers will continue to work with residents and their families to provide for the needs of each individual resident. Some of these needs may include securing adaptive equipment, making appointments, transportation, assistance and referrals for financial planning and discharge planning when needed.

Financial Information

Whispering Heights will accept various forms of payment. We accept private pay, nursing home insurance and Medicaid. Our business office will file your nursing home insurance claims.

Our Social Workers also have information regarding a variety of services. Two of these are Medicare and Medicaid. Information regarding Medicaid is available from Social Workers.  Department of Human Services Centralized Facility Eligibility Unit: 1-877-344-9628 or www.oasis.iowa.gov to complete an application online. To begin the application process, these following documents will be needed: Birth certificate, social security card, Medicare card, burial contracts, bank statements, proof of income.

Veteran’s Benefits are also available to veterans or spouses of veterans. Veteran’s benefits or Aid and Attendance is a benefit to persons entering the nursing home to help pay for their bill. There is a qualification process and a copy of your discharge papers will be needed to begin the process. If you think you may be eligible, contact social services to get the paperwork started.

Advance Directives

There are two advance directives that you can sign in Iowa. One is a living will and the second is a Durable Power of Attorney. Advance directives are documents which spell out your wishes for future medical care. Advance directives guide your doctor and family when you are unable to speak for yourself.

Living Wills

A Living Will states that if you should have an incurable or irreversible condition that would cause your death within a short time that you would not want life sustaining procedures to keep you alive. Living wills can be as short as the above statement or can be more detailed to include specific items such as antibiotic use, placement or no placement of a feeding tube, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mechanical breathing, medical technology and/or pain medications.

Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is an agent appointed by you to make medical decisions for you only when you are unable to speak for yourself. By appointing someone to make medical decisions for you, your doctor has the legal right to ask that person what your desires would be if you could not make your desires known. It is helpful to discuss with your appointed agent what your desires are for your healthcare so he or she can advocate on your behalf. You may appoint one agent or several. It is helpful to meet with a lawyer to discuss this further and to get things legalized in writing. After you have secured a copy of your directives from your lawyer, you will need to share a copy with your doctor, your hospital and nursing home. Our social workers have additional information to help you decide what advanced directive is right for you.

5 Wishes Program

The 5 Wishes program is a helpful tool and a recognized legal document when writing advanced directives. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact our social workers to mail you a copy of the booklet.

Social Service Contacts

Phone Number: (712) 476-8214
Melinda Faber, LBSW
Social Services
melinda.faber@hegghc.org
Heather Vangrootheest, BSW
Social Services
heather.vangrootheest@hegghc.org

Nutrition Services wishes to extend a warm welcome to you and your family. We would like to inform you of meal times and some information regarding the Nutrition Services Department. Our philosophy at Whispering Heights is to provide a home like environment including meal times and quality of food. We support a liberalized diet for our residents to promote optimal nutrition intake.

Sleep In! We Will Have Breakfast Ready When You Are!

We offer an “open” breakfast in which the resident is able to choose when they would like to get up and come to breakfast. Breakfast is available from 7:30 – 9:00 AM. Our resident’s fill out a menu of what they would like and are served a custom ordered breakfast.

Dinner and supper are served traditionally. Dinner is served from 11:00 – 11:30 AM and supper is served from 5:00 – 5:30 PM. We have a 5-week rotating menu that offers a wide variety of choices and combinations to please everyone. We have many substitutions for those who do not care for what is served. Favorite foods from home may also be brought in. We request that you let the nursing staff and nutrition services know ahead of the meal.

You Choose The Menu!

Resident choice meals are planned within the rotating menu. We encourage families to bring in favorite recipes to add to the menu selections.

Have A Meal With Us!

Families are welcome to eat with their loved one at any time. Nutrition Services requests a 2-hour notice so we can adequately prepare for your meal. Please call (712) 476-8221 to request a meal or talk to the charge nurse in the neighborhood. The cost: Breakfast: $5.00; Dinner: $7.00; and Supper: $6.00. You can pay Nutrition Services.

We would be happy to host your event! Nutrition Services will provide the coffee and disposable dishes and silverware. Please call the Nutrition Services Department at 476-8221.

Every day at 3:00, we serve a variety of beverages and our signature homemade cookies. Our cookies are legendary! We make approximately 1,500 cookies per week just to snack on! That’s 78,000cookies per year! We also serve snacks at 9:45 am and 7:00 pm. Stop by to visit and have a cookie! We bet you will be back for another one!

The dietary staff is proud to serve nutritious and attractive meals. Our staff consists of 26 team members that have over 261 years of experience. The team is led by a Certified Dietary Manager, Rhonda Postma, CDM CFPP with 27 years of experience as a cook and manager and Char Kooima, RD LD LN, the Registered Dietitian, with 17 years of experience. All staff is trained on food safety and sanitation practices. We strive to stay up-to-date with the leading standards of practice within the dietary scope. If you have questions or would like to contact us, please do so! We appreciate feedback and the opportunity to make Whispering Heights as homelike as possible.

Rhonda Postma, CDM, CFPP
Dietary Director
Phone: (712) 476-8215
Email: rhonda.postma@hegghc.org
Char Kooima, RD, LD, LN
Registered Dietician
Email: char.kooima@hegghc.org

Nursing in Whispering Heights strives to give quality resident centered care. This means that we attempt to give each resident as many options and choices in their care as we can within the resident’s limitations. As a group we have adopted and modified the Pioneer philosophy of care. This vision for us states that “Whispering Heights will dedicate its resources to provide a life affirming, satisfying meaningful aging process served with compassion.” We are identifying and defining values which are meaningful to our facility and staff as we focus on resident centered care. Visit our Pioneer Network website and learn more about its influence in changing nursing home cultures.

Services

Whispering Heights has many nurses, CNAs and other dedicated personnel that are here to assist residents as their physical and/or mental abilities decline. To assure that the residents remain at their highest practicable level of well being the facility offers many services. Due to the close connection to the hospital skilled nursing care paid by Medicare is available in the hospital, however the nursing care itself in Whispering Heights is from highly qualified staff with an RN on duty at least 8 hours and usually more every day including weekends. The close connection to the hospital provides many other opportunities for services needed by residents such as:

  • Physical/Occupational/Speech Therapies
  • Wound and Ostomy Services from a Nurse Practitioner
  • Dental Services
  • All outpatient services as seen on the hospital website
  • Physician and clinic services are only steps away
  • Emergency care within minutes
  • Counseling and psychiatric services on campus
  • Wellness Clinic
  • Laboratory and Radiology Services
  • How to Choose the Right Care

In the difficult decision of having to place a beloved spouse, parent or other into a nursing home many factors have to be taken into consideration. One of these factors is to look at not only the location of the facility, but also its quality of care in comparison with other facilities. The final decision needs to be made when doing a tour of the facility and meeting staff and evaluating the environment that will be nurturing your loved one. For comparisons it is helpful to go to the Medicare website and to go to the nursing home compare section.

For any assistance, questions, and/or support the nursing staff is available at any time to take your call at the nursing stations. Please email the Director of Nursing, Marva Hoogland at (712) 476-8212 ormarva.hoogland@hegghc.org.

The nursing staff at Whispering Heights is proud to give quality care that is resident centered.

In order to better serve the elders and caregivers of the community, informal respite services will be provided on an hourly or daily basis.

Description of the Program

  1. Respite care on an hourly or daily basis will be an organized program of temporary supportive care provided for a short time to relieve the usual caregiver.
  2. All rules and regulations for meeting the Medicaid and Medicare requirements will apply to all persons admitted for respite care including admissions, transfer, and discharge rights excepting Rule 481-58.40 (135C) regarding involuntary discharge or transfer rights.
  3. The care recipient and Whispering Heights (prior to admission) will enter into a contract which shall specify the time periods during which the care recipient will be considered to be receiving respite care services. The contract will include the rates and services which can be expected to be provided. The contract will be reviewed on a quarterly basis or sooner if there are any significant changes in the resident, caregiver, or facility conditions. The contract will specifically state the care recipient maybe discharged while being considered as a respite care resident. All other residents rights will be pertinent to the respite care resident as if admitted to the facility as ICF.
  4. Respite Care Services shall not be provided by Whispering Heights to persons requiring a higher level of care than ICF which the facility is licensed to provide.
  5. Other considerations:
    • Prior to admission the facility staff will meet with the resident and caregiver for assessment and to establish a plan of care. This will be reviewed quarterly or sooner if significant changes.
    • Medications may be brought to the facility only under the guidelines and regulations governing the facility at that time.
    • The residents attending physician will be notified of admission to informal respite care and admission orders obtained.
    • Supportive therapy, dietary, nursing and activity services will be provided as needed and determined by the multidisciplinary team.
    • Placement within the facility will be determined by the current census and nursing needs of the respite care resident. The facility will try to accommodate requests for a private room as it is able to.
    • Whispering Heights shall maintain the following information to be updated at least annually.
      • The resident’s name, birth date, age, and address and the telephone number of the spouse, guardian or primary caregiver.
      • An emergency medical care release
      • Advanced Directives
      • Emergency contact telephone numbers such as the number of the resident’s physician and the spouse, guardian, or primary caregiver.
      • The resident’s medical issues, including allergies.
      • The resident’s daily schedule which includes the resident’s preferences in activities, food preferences or any other special concerns.

Whispering Heights shall not exceed it’s licenses capacity and services. The services provided shall be in locations consistent with licensure. Respite care will not be provided outside of the facility. Respite care can be provided to Medicaid clients on the HCBS waiver. This can be done on an hourly or overnight basis. If a client who is paying privately wants to stay overnight, it can be no longer than 13 1/2 days at a time. The Medicaid clients would have to go through their case managers for this program.

One of the extra services that is provided for the residents at Whispering Heights is the availability of a beauty salon in the facility.  There are several licensed cosmetologists available to come in and fix hair for our patients and residents in our beauty shop.

Hours

The salon is whenever you may need it and when it works for your preferred cosmetologist.

Services

The salon offers shampoos, haircuts, perms, and color.

The goal of the cosmetologists is to provide services to all the residents for whatever type of hair care they may need.  It is important that residents not only look their best, but also feel good about themselves!

Additional Information

If you have questions or would like more information, please call Ryan Warnke at (712) 476-8209.

Whispering Heights

2116 14th Street
Rock Valley, IA 51247
Phone: 712-476-8200
Fax: 712-476-8265