The following reflects our experience at Heights of Tomball from 5 Nov 2014 to 16 Dec 2014, during which time my Mother was admitted for rehab following surgery for a broken hip.
The caregiving staff (nurses, CNAs, aides, therapists, etc.) at Heights of Tomball are great! They work extremely hard and most of them genuinely care about their residents/patients. They go above and beyond to take care of your loved one. HOWEVER, during my Mother’s time at the Heights, the response to her call button averaged over 20 minutes and there were several occasions where it took almost an hour for anyone to come to her assistance. We were told by one of the CNAs that they are specifically prohibited from helping patients with toileting during meal times. Considering that each meal time lasts 90-120 minutes, your loved one could lay there in soiled diapers or in toileting agony for well over an hour… three times a day.
The leadership team is all but inaccessible: they rarely return phone calls or respond to email. In fact, I was told by the Administrator that "we do not do email." While you are visiting your loved one (weekday, morning, afternoon, evening), the likelihood of being able to actually talk to the Administrator, Finance Manager, Director of Nursing, Director of Therapy, and/or the house Doctor is slim to none. They spend their time in meetings and behind closed doors. If you do manage to find one of them, they smile and nod and are very agreeable regarding whatever issues you are concerned about… but there is rarely actual delivery or follow up, and the communication flow to the care giving staff is very poor.
Heights of Tomball “manages” difficult patients (anxiety, fear, etc) with drugs. The Administrator told me we had to give them permission to put my mother on antipsychotic drugs or she would have to go elsewhere. After that conversation, we moved her out of there as fast as we could – it took us about a week. Interestingly, within 24 hours of being in her new facility, my Mother’s anxiety and fear settled down to the lowest it’s been in well over a month – and with no antipsychotic drugs.
Heights of Tomball is a new and shiny, well-designed facility. The staff will give you a tour that will knock your socks off but BEWARE OF CURB APPEAL. If you do put your loved one there, be sure to visit every day and check the Meds list as often as you can… it is amazing how new Rx appear with no discussion with the family. For example, I had a conversation with the Nurse Practioner from Behavioral Services regarding additional anxiety meds for my Mother. The NP very clearly told me that she would not add any additional meds as she wanted to observe Mom for a few more days and perhaps adjust some dosage levels. That night, just a few hours later, a new med was added (without discussion with any of us) by the house Doctor. It seems that members of the medical staff at Heights of Tomball don’t talk to each other.
Oh, and don’t expect to have a care meeting with the staff more than once every 90 days. Yep, once every 3 months they will give you 15 minutes of their precious time to discuss the care plan for your loved one. Isn’t that great?
Heights of Tomball is a Touchstone facility. I would be careful of all Touchstone facilities as it appears, at least to some degree, that the practices and culture at Heights of Tomball is a reflection of the Touchstone corporate practices and culture.