Frequently Asked Questions
PLEASE NOTE: Many of our standard policies have been temporarily changed due to COVID-19. Please see our COVID-19 Prevention FAQ for up-to-date information on our visitor policy, prevention measures, and more.
We recommend visiting from 8am until 8pm, after that time we lock our doors as most residents are asleep. But you are welcome to visit 24 hours a day. Please call in advance for after hours visits to ensure access.
How do I find out about activities provided for the resident?
We strive to create social programs and individualized activities to match the capabilities and needs of each resident. This also has a powerful impact in the healing process of those residents involved in some type of rehabilitation. Specific activities include: active resident councils, musical performances, current events update, reading the newspaper, singing exercises, fitness activities, stretching exercises, religious meetings, outside entertainment, games, trivia, history, and volunteer involvement. We also strongly encourage families to participate with the residents in various activities.
A monthly calendar is posted to keep residents informed of upcoming events such as birthday parties, movies, musical programs, outings, candlelight dinners, ice cream socials and other special events. We always welcome friends and families to visit and attend our special events.
What role does Social Services play?
Our social service team assists both residents and their families during transitional periods. They also provide essential information, manage requests and concerns, help in care and discharge planning for each resident. They can arrange professional services for: Dental, Vision, Podiatry, Audiology, Power of Attorney, Dementia assessment, Psychosocial and Psychiatric Evaluation, and Individual therapy.
How is the laundry done? Can family members take laundry home?
Should you wish to have your laundry washed by us, please notify the front office upon admission. Subsequently, if a family/care giver is going to take care of the laundry at home, please let the nursing station know your plans. This way, the staff can place a sign on the closet door notifying our housekeeping staff to leave the clothing for family pick up. We request that family provide a hamper for clothes and pick it up twice a week.
All personal clothing is washed in an industrial washing machine at a temperature of 180 degrees. Make sure your loved ones’ clothing is appropriate for washing and drying in these hot temperatures. Avoid bringing clothing that requires cold or warm water, special care, or is subject to damage and fading. All clothing must be labeled. Please label the clothing with the resident’s name, NOT the room number or initials. Mark clearly and in large letters on the inside neckline or waistband. All items must be marked including socks, shoes, and other personal items.
What articles of clothing should we bring?
We recommend approximately five changes of clothing and a pair of comfortable rubber-soled shoes. All articles should be washed, clearly labeled with resident’s name in permanent ink and entered into the residents’ personal inventory log in the medical chart. Other personal items should be marked or engraved for identification. We advise that residents do not keep valuable jewelry or large amounts of cash in the facility.
Is there a limit to the number of people who can visit at one time?
Although we do not have a formal policy stating visitation guidelines, we suggest using the common areas of the facility to meet with your loved one. If it is not possible to visit in one of the common areas, we suggest a limit of one to three people in a resident room at one time.
Is there any private space available to use?
You may reserve the activities lounge for any special events (birthday, holidays, meals) with notice.
Can children visit?
We encourage children to visit, however, we ask you to alert the charge nurse to anyone visiting the facility under the age 12.
Can we bring a family pet to the facility?
We would love for your family pet to come visit. Please remember to clean up after them and take the proper safety measures at all times. All pets are to be kept on a leash and should have all current vaccinations.
How often will a physician or health professional visit?
Physicians generally see residents upon admission and once every 30 days thereafter. However, our nursing professionals are in constant contact with all of the physicians that visit the facility. Some insurance companies require that physicians visit more often. Check with our nursing staff for further information.
Can I take my loved one home for a visit?
Residents may have a leave of absence only with a physician’s authorization, which can be arranged through the nursing staff. Upon arrival and departure, the resident or responsible party must sign the LOA (leave of absence) book, located at the nursing station.
Can my loved one receive mail?
Mail is delivered to residents personally on a daily basis except for weekends and holidays.
Cottonwood Canyon Healthcare Center
Attn: ___________________ Room No. _____
1391 Madison Avenue
El Cajon, CA 92021
Consider using our Send a Greeting feature on the website. You can choose from a variety of post cards to fill out and mail to your loved one for a small fee or you may type a message and through email, send us your email greeting that we will hand deliver to your loved one residing in our facility. Our email feature is free of charge.
Is smoking permitted in the facility?
For the safety and welfare of all residents and staff, we are a non-smoking facility. There are designated smoking areas in the outdoor areas.
Where should I park when I come to visit?
There is ample parking in the parking lot with wheelchair access. Please observe all posted city parking signs. Avoid parking in spaces specifically reserved for the handicapped, employees and physicians.
Can I bring in my loved one’s favorite food?
Consistent with the provision of special diets, always consult with the nursing staff before bringing food to residents. Any food kept in the resident room must be in properly sealed containers.
Is there someone who provides haircuts?
Yes, we have beauticians available every other Tuesday from 10am-3pm.
Will my loved one’s room have a television?
All of the rooms currently feature a free cable television.
Will my loved one have telephone access?
We have cordless phones available for resident access along with a phone in the hall.
Will my loved one have internet access?
WiFi Internet is provided for residents and their guests.
How often will the Rehabilitation staff work with my loved one?
Your rehab director can inform you of the rehabilitation program designed for your loved one.
Will Medicare cover my stay in the facility?
Residents must have a Medicare card that reads “Hospital Insurance.” They must also be admitted to the facility with a physician order within 30 days of a three consecutive night hospital stay. Generally, during the first 20 days of care, Medicare will pay 100%. For days 21-100, a daily co-insurance co-pay is required. Medicare does not cover skilled nursing fees over 100 days.
Who do I talk to about food preferences? Are there alternate options to each day’s menu?
Upon admission our Registered Dietitian and/or Food Service Director will interview your loved one regarding special needs with regards to food preferences. Our own food service personnel prepare all the meals. Special care is taken to serve flavorful and appetizing foods. All menus are developed according to prescribed medical diets ordered by the physicians.
Should you wish for another food item on a particular day’s menu, please make the CNA aware of your request. This information will be passed on to the Food Service Director and they will try their best to accommodate needs.
Our Dietitian and Food Service Director also monitor nutritional status using monthly weights, daily intake records and relevant lab data. The results of these assessments are discussed at care conferences.
What do we do if we have personnel concerns?
Our primary concern is that your loved one feels comfortable here, and that their needs are being met. You should feel secure and at ease with our staff, particularly those providing direct care. If you have any concerns or praise for our staff, please feel free to contact our social services department. They will be able to address any apprehensions you may have regarding any particular staff members.
What is an Ombudsman?
An Ombudsman is an advocate for residents. They are a third party person NOT employed by the facility who comes by the facility periodically to monitor the activities of the facility. They are not able to tell the facility what to do, but are able to be a voice for a resident with a concern.
Who do I talk to about questions in regard to financials, billing, and/or admission paperwork?
We employ a full time Business Office Manager for all financial and billing concerns. Should you have any questions regarding these matters please make an appointment to see our Business Office Manager by contacting the front desk/receptionist.
The Admissions Coordinator will guide you through the necessary forms required on admission and review the rules and regulations regarding Medicare, Medicaid and various insurances.