Have Questions? Call Us Today! 510-536-1838 info@bellaken.com

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

What is a Skilled Nursing Center?

  • Skilled Nursing Centers are residences designed to house and assist individuals who have health conditions that require constant monitoring and availability of medical personnel. Skilled nursing facilities, also known as nursing homes or extended care services, provide 24-hour supervision, meals, activities and health management support for their residents. For most patients, the goal of a skilled nursing center is to provide an environment where they can rehabilitate and eventually return home. However, some residents may require further or extended care. What is the difference between Skilled Nursing & Assisted Living?
  • While skilled nursing centers provide the highest level of care for patients outside of a hospital, assisted living is best for seniors who need some assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming, and eating, but do not require 24-hour-a-day health care by doctors & healthcare professionals.

When is it time to consider a nursing home for your parents?

  • Both medical and personal care needs have become too great to handle at home or in another senior living community. This may be due to a recent hospitalization, or a chronic illness which has gradually worsened over time.
  • Your parent needs a higher level of care temporarily after a hospitalization, but it’s anticipated that they will be able to return to home or to another facility after a period of time.

What does the resident need to bring with them?

  • The skilled nursing facility will provide the necessary furniture that most residents would require in their room. However, to make it feel like home, most skilled nursing facilities encourage residents to bring personal items such as family photos, a familiar bedspread, and treasured belongings.
  • If possible, visit our skilled nursing center before moving in, so you can see the physical layout, sizes of the rooms, amount of closet space and any furniture or household items that are included.

What kind of social activities are there at Bellaken Garden?

  • Our skilled nursing residences have a full calendar of activities and social events for residents, including fitness classes, ice cream socials, bingo, game night, prayer service, movie night and guest speakers.

How big are the rooms?

  • At Bellaken Garden, our rooms house dual beds. The rooms also come with a half bathroom, a closet, and a dresser.

How much does Skilled Nursing/Assisted Living cost?

  • The cost of Skilled Nursing/Assisted Living could vary depending on the specific needs of the patients. If you have questions about costs, please feel free to give us a call at 510-536-1838.

How does Bellaken Garden assure quality of care for its residents?

  • We carefully select qualified medical staff
  • We provide orientation and ongoing education to our staff
  • We take an integrative approach to skilled nursing care, and follow a comprehensive care plan that’s developed to meet every resident’s unique, individual needs
  • We act on our results by changing methods of how care is delivered
  • We proactively seek ways to improve care
  • We use best practices where established
  • We have consistent medical direction and input
  • We learn from our State and Federal surveys
  • We listen to what our residents and their families are telling us
  • We assign each resident his/her own aide to build a special bond between residents and staff

What should families look for to assess the overall quality of skilled nursing care?

  • Services and specialties that match the needs of your loved one
  • Recommendations from doctors, social workers and family members of residents
  • Warm, friendly, and respectful interactions among staff, residents, and family members
  • Respected and knowledgeable facility leadership, medical direction, and board members
  • An inviting and homelike environment
  • Visit frequently after placement, drop by at various times
  • Express your concerns and needs to the staff

Common Medical Conditions

Cerebral Vascular Accidents (CVA)
  • Cerebral Vascular Accident is the medical term for a stroke. A stroke is when blood flow to a part of your brain is stopped either by a blockage or the rupture of a blood vessel.
  • Types of Cerebral Vascular Accident:
    • Ischemic stroke: occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel and prevents blood and oxygen from getting to a part of the brain. There are two ways that this can happen. One way is an embolic stroke, which occurs when a clot forms somewhere else in your body and gets lodged in a blood vessel in the brain. The other way is a thrombotic stroke, which occurs when the clot forms in a blood vessel within the brain.
    • Hemorrhagic stroke: occurs when a blood vessel ruptures, or hemorrhages, and then prevents blood from getting to part of the brain. The hemorrhage may occur in any blood vessel in the brain, or it may occur in the membrane surrounding the brain.
  • Symptoms of a Cerebrovascular Accident:
    • Stroke symptoms include:
      • difficulty walking
      • dizziness
      • loss of balance and coordination
      • difficulty speaking or understanding others who are speaking
      • numbness or paralysis in the face, leg, or arm, most likely on just one side of the body
      • blurred or darkened vision
      • a sudden headache, especially when accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
Orthopedic Conditions
  • Common Orthopedic Conditions:
    • Arthritis: Arthritis is a rheumatic disease that has symptoms of pain, limited movement, swelling and pain in connective tissues. There are almost 50 million people in the United States who experience some type of arthritis. Arthritis is chronic or rarely changes and can progress slowly, and unfortunately many of the causes of arthritis are unknown.
    • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that middle aged and older adults experience. The joint cartilage breaks down as you age and it can occur in the hands, knees, spine or hips. Often you will hear osteoarthritis termed as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease. It is very painful and one of the more common forms of orthopedic problems seen in doctor’s offices.
    • Rheumatoid: Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease listed in the orthopedic section that causes severe inflammation of the joints. The inflammation is so severe that the functioning of the extremities becomes severely limited. Lumps generally form over the small joints and movement plus appearance is hampered. Adult rheumatoid arthritis lasts a lifetime and progressively gets worse. As an autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues and cells. It not watched, rheumatoid arthritis can also attack the heart and lungs.
    • Fractures: Fractures are definite orthopedic problems. Open fractures or compound fractures include there bone protruding through the skin or a wound that exposes the bone through the skin. A closed fracture or simple fractures is a broken bone seen, but not exiting the skin through a wound. Greenstick fractures are incomplete fractures. A small portion of the bone is broken; other fractures are straight line fractures across the bone and spiral fractures are actual breaks that spiral around the bone.
Various Peripheral Neuropathies
  • Peripheral neuropathy is a condition when nerves in the body’s extremities – such as the hands, feet, and arms – are damaged. This illness often causes weakness, numbness, and pain in the extremities. Other areas of the body can also be affected. Physical traumas, infections, toxins, as well as metabolic problems and inherited causes can result in peripheral neuropathy. It is also one of the most common complications of diabetes mellitus.
    • Common Signs of Peripheral Neuropathy
      • Tingling sensation and numbness that goes from the feet or hands upward into legs and arms
      • Prickling “pins and needles” sensations in the fingers and toes
      • Extreme sensitivity to touch
      • Muscle weakness or paralysis if motor nerves are affected
Chronic medical conditions (asthma, emphysema, cardiovascular conditions and venous insufficiency)
  • Asthma is a chronic, or long-term, disease that inflames and narrows the airway. Asthma may cause the linings of your airways to get swollen, and the muscles around them can get tight. Sometimes the swelling and tightness get much worse. This is called an exacerbation, or asthma attack. An asthma attack can happen with any kind of asthma. Over time, effects of uncontrolled asthma, such as increased inflammation and asthma attacks, may have long-term effects on your breathing leading to permanent damage to the lining of your airways. Asthma attacks can be serious; that’s why it’s important for you to work with your healthcare provider to control your asthma.
  • Cardiomyopathy is a type of progressive heart disease in which the heart is abnormally enlarged, thickened, and/or stiffened. As a result, the heart muscle’s ability to pump blood is less efficient, often causing heart failure and the backup of blood into the lungs or rest of the body. The disease can also cause abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Emphysema is a form of chronic lung disease. This and chronic bronchitis are the two main types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the third-leading cause of death in the United States. These conditions are called “obstructive” because it’s as though something is blocking the smooth flow of air in and out of the lungs. Doctors estimate that more than 24 million people in the United States have emphysema or another form of COPD. Many of them do not know it.
Spinal Cord/Head/Back Injuries
A spinal cord injury — damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal (cauda equina) — often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury.

If you’ve recently experienced a spinal cord injury, it might seem like every aspect of your life has been affected. You might feel the effects of your injury mentally, emotionally and socially.

Many scientists are optimistic that advances in research will someday make the repair of spinal cord injuries possible. Research studies are ongoing around the world. In the meantime, treatments and rehabilitation allow many people with spinal cord injuries to lead productive, independent lives.


Your ability to control your limbs after a spinal cord injury depends on two factors: the place of the injury along your spinal cord and the severity of injury to the spinal cord.

The lowest normal part of your spinal cord is referred to as the neurological level of your injury. The severity of the injury is often called “the completeness” and is classified as either of the following:

  • Complete. If all feeling (sensory) and all ability to control movement (motor function) are lost below the spinal cord injury, your injury is called complete.
  • Incomplete. If you have some motor or sensory function below the affected area, your injury is called incomplete. There are varying degrees of incomplete injury.

Additionally, paralysis from a spinal cord injury may be referred to as:

  • Tetraplegia. Also known as quadriplegia, this means your arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs are all affected by your spinal cord injury.
  • Paraplegia. This paralysis affects all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs.

Spinal cord injuries of any kind may result in one or more of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss or altered sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
  • Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity and fertility
  • Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs
Preventative Medicine
Preventative medicine is a part of preventive care services provided by competent healthcare professionals. It is aimed at promoting, protecting, and maintaining the health and well-being of patients to avoid advanced diseases and disabilities.

To prevent serious illnesses, healthcare providers may administer:

  • Immunizations and wellness visits
  • Screenings for blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Screenings for hearing and vision
  • Identifying health and safety risks
  • And much more