In choosing a long term care facility, you want what’s best for your loved one. Coming to the decision to place is often hard enough, and finding one that suits everyone’s needs is even harder. When the time comes to start looking there are many factors that will determine the best facility suited to your loved ones needs. Choosing the best level of care means determining your elders needs in terms of his/her functional abilities. payment resources, and of course distance. There are three levels of care that we need to look at:
- Assisted Living- Exclusively for elders who need minimal assistance with daily living activities.
- Skilled Nursing- Skilled nursing is for elders that are home bound, under the care of a doctor, and need assistance with meals, housekeeping and daily living activities.
- Long Term Care Facilities- For elders who need care with all aspects of daily living skills such as eating, ambulation, and hygiene. In some facilities, a separate unit for Memory care, such as for Alzhiemers patients, is common.
Once the level of care has been determined, choosing the right facility according to to family’s needs, comes next. First, some questions need to be answered in order to come to the right decision.
- Does the facility have caring, qualified staff on hand 24 hours a day?
- Do they provide accurate care plans to be followed by CNA’s?
- Is the environment comforting and activities offered?
- Does the facility offer an explanation of patients rights and responsibilities?
- What are the policies about end of life decisions?
All of these factors help in making the right decision for your elder, but, ultimately, the very best way to find out if the facility is the right one, is to visit. Take a walk through and observe the staffs interaction with the residents. Are they compassionate and patient? Do you feel comfortable with the interactions? Would YOU live there? Bring your elder to see for themselves, and if possible, ask for their opinion as well. After all, they are the ones that must live there.
Once a facility is found that you feel comfortable with, all that is left is to make the move. This is the hardest part of all emotionally, but one well worth it for everyone involved. So choose carefully, and know that you are making the best decision possible for the well being of your loved one. Just don’t forget to visit often and to remain an active part of your elders life, no matter where they are.