Ask Jennifer: Week ending 2/22

Updated: 02/03/2015 8:05 AM
Created: 08/04/2009 11:50 AM WHEC.com

Dear Jennifer,

My mother needs a nursing home. I was told she needed a “PRI” done. We paid someone to do it and sent it in to the nursing home we wanted. They told us the PRI showed my mother didn’t need a nursing home. What the heck does that mean? How can that be? She’s 95 years old and can’t take care of her house anymore. She has arthritis. She doesn’t drive and she uses a walker. She gets Meals on Wheels. Can you explain this to me?


Dear Jeff,

PRI stands for Patient Review Instrument. It is a multi-page document that must be completed by a certified assessor. The assessor must follow strict rules for assessing and completing the form. Those going into nursing homes must meet the criteria which generally includes:

- Doesn’t know time of day / location
- Doesn’t recognize most family members
- Repeats statements or questions daily
- Attempts to wander off
- No longer safe with stove, microwave, running water
- Needs to be cued and/or assisted with dressing/ hygiene/ meals etc.

SIGNIFICANT PHYSICAL ASSISTANCE for at least 2 of the following:
- Walking
- Standing and turning around to sit
- Toileting / hygiene
- Eating / feeding

- Diagnosis (Diabetes management, kidney failure/dialysis, stroke, unstable heart/ lungs etc.)
- Wound care (open wounds)
- Tube and ostomy care (IV’s, feeding tubes, PICC lines etc.)
- Tracheostomy care
- Etc.  

The PRI results in a score based on the assessment. The score indicates whether the applicant’s needs require a skilled nursing home. I recommend you take the PRI with you to the next doctor’s appointment and ask if the doctor or nurse in the office agree with the PRI score. They will be able to advise you best.



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