How to Choose a Senior Care Facility

As a geriatric care manager, I frequently visit Senior Care Facility and long-term care facilities. Because each facility offers a distinct setting and array of services, it is difficult to know which one is the best choice for your family member.

 Most families recognize that choosing a Senior Care Facility based on cost alone is not the wisest decision. Choosing a facility based on its proximity to the primary caregiver is often not the best choice either, even though it should be close enough for family and friends to visit often. 


 Senior Care Facility
How to Choose a Senior Care Facility


Keep in mind that your loved one will be in the Senior Care Facility  24-7; the best choice is one that will provide your loved one with options for continuing her own life in her own way, not the one that's easiest for everyone to visit.

 Here are some of the major factors I consider when evaluating long-term care facilities for a client. Every family will place a different value on each of these categories.

                 


Factors to Consider


* Cost

* Location

* Activities

* Environment

* Staffing

* Medical Issues

* Ancillary Services

* Owner Information

* Discharge Criteria

Don't Underestimate Activities



Activities are critically important. People are social, and we look to each other for cues on how to behave; social stimulation prevents isolation and depression and may contribute to delaying the progression of dementia symptoms.

 The best facility for your loved one should have activities that require participation as well as some that involve only observing or listening. 

Also look for a Senior Care Facility that has current residents with interests, backgrounds or physical disabilities that are similar to your loved ones. People have an innate need to belong.

One of the most important things to consider is the activity calendar. Ideally, there will be something scheduled after dinner and on both weekend days. Ask about staffing hours.

In some facilities, the main staff works Monday through Friday from nine to five, but in the better Senior Care Facilities, the staff rotates, taking different days off mid-week so that someone familiar is always present on weekends. 

A crisis is just as likely to occur in the evening or on the weekend as it is during the weekday, and the residents deserve an experienced professional to be present to manage their care.

 Ask if key employees, such as the administrator, have cell phone numbers that you can call when they are away from the Senior Care Facility.

Ask the Tough Questions


Find out whether the marketing people are on commission. Generally, those on commission will try to fill all the rooms, whether or not a resident is appropriate for the Senior Care Facility, so they can collect their commission.

 If they are commissioned, you must make a diligent effort to speak with residents' families and the residents themselves. No one is more familiar with life in that Senior Care Facility than the residents!

Be sure to ask how medical emergencies are handled. Every company has a procedure that must be followed. Is the staff required to call an ambulance if your grandmother stubs her toe? Are they allowed to notify a family member and wait to make a decision? 


Is hospice care allowed in the Senior Care Facility, or will your loved one have to move into a different type of Senior Care Facility facility if he or she develops a terminal condition? 


Is there a physician who makes house calls in the building? Is there staff or visiting nurse who sees patients who are hurt or ill? Some residents only leave their building for medical appointments.


 Life is more fun when the outings can be fun ones, not simply a medical necessity, so find out whether a podiatrist, dentist, and eye doctor make regular visits to the Senior Care Facility; and whether a portable X-ray machine can be brought in to prevent a trip to the ER.

6 Questions You Should Ask Before Considering a Senior Care Facility


As you age, it becomes apparent that you are not able to do things as you could when you were younger. For that reason, there are senior living options that you should begin to consider.

It is best to look at your choices before you are unable to make the choice for yourself.

 What should you look for, though, and what questions should you ask before feeling comfortable with a senior living option in your area.

Senior Care Facility
6 Questions Ask Before Considering a Senior Care Facility

1. What kind of assistance is provided?


It is important to know exactly what is offered at any senior living facility that you are considering. You want to know if you will receive help with everyday chores such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Even if you do not need the help now, it is possible that you will need it in the future.

2. What do the fees include?


Every Senior Care Facility has a different way of doing things financially. When you hear a price, you should investigate exactly what that price includes. Some Senior Care Facilities offer a package deal where everything is included in their price, while others start with a base price and then add-on, as services are required. Find out exactly what to expect, financially.

3. Are the current residents happy?


You want to move into a place that others enjoy. While you tour different senior living facilities, talk with residents if you can and try to get a feel for the attitude. You may even consider joining theSenior Care facilities for dinner and chatting with the guests and staff to find out a little more about the place and how the residents and staff feel about it.


4. Is the facility near your most visited locations?


It can be a hassle to be too far from places that you go on a regular basis. You want to make sure that the senior living option that you are seriously considering is close to your family, your doctor, and other places you visit often.


5. Are there recreational activities?


If you want to socialize, it is important to find out if the Senior Care Facility plans time for this. Do they offer a game night or movie night? Do they schedule days to go shopping or to the beauty shop? Find out what kind of social activities the Senior Care facilities offer and how often they offer them.

6. What kind of training does the staff receive?


When someone is there to help take care of you, it is important that they know what they are doing. Talk with the director and find out exactly what kind of training is required of the staff and how often they are required to do special training.

You should consider quite a few things before moving into a senior care facility. Find out the answers to these questions and, with the information that you have gained, you should be able to make the decision that is right for you.