There are few things more painful than watching a loved one’s health deteriorate and when the time comes to consider placing them in a care facility, it can be pretty overwhelming. Knowing what your options are and understanding the differences can help lighten the burden.
Why You Might Consider a Care Facility
I think it’s a given that everyone would prefer to remain at home for the duration of their life, but in the event that it becomes unsafe to do so, you might find yourself considering long-term care options. If your loved one is finding it difficult to complete any or all of the following tasks, a long-term care facility may be worth considering
- Daily tasks, such as bathing and cooking, have become increasingly more difficult
- Mobility limitations are making it difficult to get around safely
- Health is deteriorating
- There’s not enough support from other family members, making it difficult to continue care at home
- Your loved one needs continuous monitoring for safety concerns, such as memory loss or Alzheimer’s
Nursing home care isn’t one size fits all so it’s important to explore your options before making your final decision.
Assisted living facilities are considered to be the next best option when aging at home isn’t possible. For example, if your loved one wants independence but needs some assistance with daily care, has mobility limitations, or has driving restrictions, this moderate care facility will fit the bill.
Seniors in these communities will find a rich variety of opportunities for social interaction should they wish to remain active.
If your loved one is generally free of major physical health ailments but is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, a memory care facility is what you’ll want to consider. Memory care facilities are often part of a larger assisted living facility but there is a higher level of supervision.
They provide safety features that minimize the chances of your loved one wandering off and finding themselves in a potentially dangerous situation. Your loved one will still have the opportunity to participate in organized activities and they will also have access to care groups that are designed to maximize mental well-being.
Skilled Nursing Facility
For loved ones who have greater medical needs, a skilled nursing facility, commonly called a nursing home, is what you’ll need to consider.
These facilities still offer activities for residents but they also offer round-the-clock care and supervision. Your loved one will need to be approved for this level of care but if they have certain limitations, such as being bedridden or are prone to falls, they’re likely to qualify.
What You Need To Consider
After you’ve determined what level of care your loved one will need, you’ll want to do some research
Make A List of Wants and Needs
Before you begin your search, you need to have a checklist handy so you don’t overlook anything important. The location and size of the facility should be at the top of your list. Also, consider if the facility offers the necessary medical support and desired opportunities for enrichment. Talk this over with your loved one and take their wants into consideration as best as possible
Ask For Opinions
Has anyone you know been through this process before? Seek out their advice and suggestions but don’t let their experiences weigh too heavily on your final decision.
When it comes to caring for loved ones, you’re going to want the best care available. For any facility on your radar, ask about staffing. Are the staff generally happy with their jobs or is there a high turnover rate? If the latter is evident, this could be an indicator of poor working conditions and should be examined further before contracting the facility for care.
Call Around and Schedule Visits
Make a list of your top choices and then schedule visits. While touring, keep your eye out for any red flags. Does something seem off to you? Make note of it and ask questions.
Some red flags will be evident, foul odors for one, others, not so much. You’ll want to ask to see records of resident complaints or safety violations. Resident injury reports are also something you’ll want to ask about.
Even if there’s no obvious reason to suspect your loved one will face danger, it’s always a good idea to be familiar with an injury law office in your area. It is a common fear that a loved one will be injured while in someone else’s care, so having the number of a trusted attorney, such as Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, in your back pocket should you ever need it.
As with any important decision, deciding on a long-term care facility for your loved one shouldn’t be taken lightly. Doing your research is critical in ensuring they receive the highest standard of care so they can live out the rest of their life as happily and safely as possible.