Frequently Asked Questions

We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about the Diocesan Health Facilities group. Below you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we encounter. We hope the information provided here is useful to you when considering health care options.

More questions? Simply contact Julie Cayer at the Diocesan Health Facilities office at 508.679.8154, or send an email to jcayer@dhfo.org.

Q: How do I find out if my loved one is eligible for nursing home care?

A: Contact your local Agency on Aging to determine if your loved one is eligible for nursing home care. Agency staff will make an appointment for an evaluation of your loved one's medical and emotional status. If your loved one will be coming to a nursing home from the hospital, the hospital will conduct the screening.

Q: What are the first steps in applying for nursing home care?

A: First, contact the nursing homes you are interested in, tour the homes and pick up an application. When you submit the application, the nursing home will need to know the level of care the applicant needs. The applicant's physician will be able to help determine care needs. If your loved one is in the hospital and must be placed in a skilled nursing facility, contact the hospital's discharge planner or the social worker on your loved one's hospital unit for help in applying for nursing home care.

Q: How will I pay for nursing home care?

A: Nursing home care can be paid for in a variety of ways, including privately with personal assets, with health or long term care insurance, or through Medicaid and/or Medicare.

Q: Do you accept Medicaid, Medicare or other insurances?

A: The Diocesan Health Facilities accept Medicaid and are 100 percent Medicare certified. We also accept a variety of private insurances.

Q: How can I find out if I am eligible for Medicaid?

A: Contact your local Department of Public Assistance for information about Medicaid eligibility.

Q: What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?

A: Medicare is a health insurance program administered by the federal government for people aged 65 and older. Medicare is also available for many people who are permanently disabled. Medicaid is a program administered by the state, which pays medical bills for people with limited assets.

Q: Do I have to be a Catholic to be admitted to the Diocesan Health Facilities?

A: Although we are sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River our homes welcome people of all faiths.

Q: How many homes and programs are in the Diocesan Health Facilities system?

A: Five skilled nursing and rehabilitative care facilities, and two community based programs compose the Diocesan Health Facilities system.
The homes are: 

  • Catholic Memorial Home in Fall River, MA serving 300 men and women
  • Madonna Manor in North Attleboro, MA serving 129 men and women
  • Marian Manor in Taunton, MA serving 116 men and women
  • Our Lady's Haven in Fairhaven, MA serving 117 men and women
  • Sacred Heart Nursing Home in New Bedford, MA serving 217 men and women
  • Bethany House Adult Day Health Care in Taunton sponsored by Marian Manor
  • Elders First Care Management Program sponsored by the Diocesan Health Facilities
  • Alzheimer's Programs at Catholic Memorial Home in Fall River and Sacred Heart Home in New Bedford
  • Pain Management/Palliative Care programs at each of our homes.
  • Respiratory, short-term rehab and cardiac programs.

Q: What should I look for when choosing a nursing home?

A: The most important way to learn about a nursing home is to take a tour and ask questions. We offer a free brochure titled "A Checklist for Choosing a Nursing Home...Questions to ask when choosing a nursing home for your loved one." The brochure outlines several questions to ask and points to observe during your visit.

Q: What makes the Diocesan Health Facilities different from all the other nursing homes?

A: What makes Diocesan Health Facilities different is our mission of care, grounded in the Catholic philosophy that cherishes life as a gift that is meaningful...even in its final moments. That philosophy of care extends from our housekeeping staff to the nurses who perform increasingly complex bedside care and everyone in between. We strive to preserve our resident's God-given humanity, dignity and individuality regardless of their denomination. We live our mission of care everyday in word and deed.

Mission effectiveness committees led by the pastoral care directors in each of our homes make sure all residents, their families and friends, and anyone who enters our homes, feels the warmth of our mission in everything we do. Click here to read our Mission Statement.

Q: What if I only need short-term care or rehabilitation after a hospitalization?

A: We can accommodate those who need short-term care to recover from a hospitalization or to regain skills lost to their illness. Our on-site rehabilitation departments offer physical, occupational and speech therapy. Working as a team, our nurses, rehabilitation therapists, social workers, dietitians, and therapeutic activity staff create a personalized program of care to help many of our residents return to their homes in the community following a short-term rehabilitative stay. We also accommodate those who need an extended residence.

Q: The highlight of my father's week used to be attending Mass at our parish. Will he be able to attend Mass now?

A: Each of our homes has a handicapped accessible chapel where Mass is celebrated daily by a priest chaplain. For residents who are unable to attend the chapel, closed circuit television viewing of the Mass is available in all homes to residents with televisions in their rooms. Trained Eucharistic Ministers in each home can also deliver holy communion to residents in their rooms.

Q: My mother has a favorite chair, afghan and so many treasured pictures of her family. Will she have to leave them at home?

A: We encourage residents to bring personal items such as pictures, a small television, a clock or radio, a favorite chair and other furniture (depending on space availability) into their new home.

Q: Will my family and I be able to visit often or even take my father out for the day?

A: Families are welcomed and encouraged to visit anytime. Visits can be more enjoyable for you and your father by sharing an activity together. A few suggestions are reading, reminiscences, visits with children, games, letter writing, looking at family photo albums or attending a planned activity in the nursing home. We only ask that visits not be disruptive to other residents. Visits away from the nursing home are no problem either. Please notify nursing staff who can give special instructions as necessary to ensure an enjoyable visit.

Q: My mother doesn't care for Bingo games. Will there be anything else for her to do during the day?

A: There is so much more to do than Bingo! Although many residents enjoy Bingo, our therapeutic activities departments provide many other recreational and therapeutic opportunities planned with each resident's interests and needs in mind. When new residents arrive in our homes, the director of therapeutic activities speaks with them to learn about their hobbies, interests and levels of functioning. Meaningful activities are then planned to meet those needs.
We offer a variety of large group, small group or individual activities daily, including exercise, socials, outings and movies. Many residents enjoy our expressive art sessions and reminiscence groups. Theme luncheons, cooking clubs, gardening clubs and card games offer something for everyone. Calendars of events are distributed monthly to residents. Our activities staff visits with each resident several times a week. Visits may include mail delivery, a bookmobile, a shopping cart, a sensory cart or a friendly chat. All holidays are celebrated with special festivities. Parties are held for special occasions, including a monthly birthday party. 

Q: Who should I contact for more information in each home?

A: Admissions directors in each home would be happy to answer your questions, help with paper work or offer a tour of the home.

More questions?

Simply contact Julie Cayer at the Diocesan Health Facilities Office 508-679-8154, or send e-mail to jcayer@dhfo.org