Updated: July 14, 2015
Choosing the Right Care Home for your aging parent is one of the most important, yet difficult decisions you will have to make. There can be tens to hundreds of assisted living facilities in nearby and being able to identify which is the best fit your loved one is not easy.
What you need is the ability to easily find care facilities that are a match with your loved one’s care needs, budget, and location. From there, you can tour each one and narrow down your choices so you can select the right care for your Love One.
In This Article:
Essential Tips – How to Choose The Right Care Home
Know The Facts – Elder Abuse Statistics
Keep Be Prepared – Keep Your Loved One Safe
1. Understand The Your Loved One’s Needs
It is very important to understand and determine the daily needs of your your Loved One so that you can find the right care facility that can meet those requirements. Having a good understanding of your Loved One’s level of independence will help you find the right home that can provide the required level of care.
Questions to Ask – Does your Loved One need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)? Do they need help with dressing themselves, taking a shower, going to the bathroom, preparing meals, taking their medications, etc.?
2. Know Your Options
Get at least 2 or 3 care options to compare and consider what you liked the most and liked the least. Are they a match for your 1) Location 2) Budget and 3) Care needs? If so, keep in mind that good care homes and communities stay full with no vacancies. When they do have one available, due to their popularity and reputation, they fill their opening up very quickly.
The tricky part is lining up when a good care home has an availability and the timing when your Loved One is in need of care. If you already toured facilities but your Loved One is not ready, it might be a good idea to see if you can go on the care facilities’ wait lists.
Another option is speaking with an Expert Care Advisor at an Placement Agency that can find you matches based on care needs, budget an location. These agencies offer options at no charge and it only a few minutes to save you a lot of time and headache.
3. Tour More Than One Care Facility
It’s probably a good idea to make appointments with a few assisted living facilities so you can compare the pros and cons of each and decide which is the best fit for your loved one. When you arrive, the care home or care facility will have its best foot forward, so ensure to take your time and be thorough when you visit.
If you need some reminders, you can print and take this Touring Checklist with you in order to ensure you don’t miss anything.
4. Ask the Right Questions
Being prepared with the right questions to ask is key in ensuring your Loved One’s health and happiness in their new home. Getting a better understanding on the services, programs and processes of the care facility will allow you to determine if the place is a good fit or not.
- What is the ratio of caregivers to residents in the senior care home?
- Do they background check all of their employees (not just those in direct contact with residents)?
- Can they meet your aging loved one’s specific care needs?
- Do they provide ongoing training and monitoring to ensure their staff behaves appropriately?
- What are the requirements for being hired to provide care to their residents?
- Do they have any safety guidelines for caregivers?
- More Sample Questions
5. Be Thorough When Touring
When you arrive at the assisted living community or residential care homes, make sure you inspect the facility thoroughly noting any great things about it or any red flags. Does the home or facility make you feel welcomed? Does it smell good like it was just cleaned or does it smell like urine?
Do they post pictures on the wall with their licensing certificates? Do they have photos of the residents’ celebrations? Do they visibly display their food menu or schedule of activities? Are the residents just sleeping in their room during the day or are they staying active? Are the bathrooms and inside the refrigerators clean? Does it look like they pay attention to detail at the facility?
These are all very important questions you should be asking when you tour each care facility.
6. Talk to the Residents
Are they sociable? How do they residents interact with one another? Do they look well groomed? Are they happy? Are their alert levels similar to that of your Loved One? In case the residents are not alert, it does not mean the care facility is a bad home. It could mean that the particular home or community specializes in dementia residents. Make sure to find out from the staff and owner the condition of the residents before you tour to help save you time.
Make sure you talk to the residents and try to determine if they would get along with your Loved One.
7. Talk to the Owner and the Caregivers
Does the Owner and Caregivers seem friendly and welcoming? Do they rush you off or take time to ask you the questions to understand your Loved One’s needs? How do the staff and caregivers interact with the residents? Do they seem like they care? Observe them and take notes.
8. Get All the Facts
Check on the Facility’s Licensing Records and get testimonials from the other residents’ families that are staying there now or that have stayed there in the past. Check with the neighbors to see if there have been any reported problems inside or outside of the assisted living facility. You can even check with your local ombudsman to find out if there have been any problems at the particular facility.
If you want a thorough report, a great place to start checking on the care facility is with State Licensing. Each care home and community is licensed by the State and they keep on file all of the write-ups or citations each facility has received since it opened.
Minor citations are common such as administration write-ups. However, major citations noted by the State inspector are something worth learning more about in detail. If a care facility has a major citation, it is worth getting more information from the State and even bringing it to the attention of the care homeowner or management staff for an explanation.
Also, see how they rate online. Do your research and check online reviews and ratings for the facilities you are considering. Be sure to also check their Better Business Bureau rating and look for complaints (or compliments) from the residents or their families.
9. Time is Your Friend
The more time you have to research about available assisted living facilities in your area, the better it is for you and your Loved One. As mentioned earlier, vacancies at the good care homes or communities can change at a moments notice. When you are ready to move your Loved One, give the assisted living facility a 2-3 week notice in advance. Should your top preferred facilities not have a vacancy when you are ready for the transition, a care expert advisor can help you find lots of possible matches in your area.
10. Conclusion and Summary
Selecting the right assisted living facility is important in order to avoid moving your Loved One from one care facility to another. This can be very difficult for your Loved One and put them under a lot of stress moving from place to place.
The initial move to an assisted living care home or community is already going to be a big adjustment so you want to make sure that you choose carefully. Stick to these tips to help increase your chances of success in finding the right home.
Elder Abuse Statistics
In a 2004 study, the National Center on Elder Abuse found that women, who were the victims in 67% of reported elder abuse cases that year, were much more likely to suffer from elder abuse than their male counterparts. This study also showed that substantiated reports of elder abuse had increased by 16% since their 2000 survey. A report released in 2006 by the same organization noted that:
- 20% of elder abuse cases involved caregiver neglect
- 15% involved financial abuse
- 15% involved verbal, psychological or emotional abuse
- 11% involved physical abuse
These statistics show just how serious elder abuse is. With elder abuse on the rise, finding a good senior care home for your aging loved one is very important.
You do not want your loved one to become a victim of elder abuse, so do your research and have ample time in making the best decision possible for them. Being a victim of abuse or neglect can cause physical and emotional harm to seniors, and can even lead to death. This is particularly true with seniors who are less equipped to defend themselves or unable to express their feelings of what is happening to them.
Keeping these 5 tips in mind will assist you in choosing a good and safe home for your loved one. There is no better feeling than knowing that your parent will not be a victim of elder abuse or neglect and will be given the level of care and attention he or she needs. Thus, giving you peace of mind.
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Articles Related to Assisted Living:
- Discussing Assisted Living With Aging Loved Ones
- Senior Care Facility Checklist
- Pre-Admission Procedure
- What To Do When Problems Occur?
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