It’s never easy when it comes to making decisions about elder care. This includes the decision to move into a long-term care facility as well. Numerous things have to be considered, even prior to beginning your research, let alone actually making the move into the facility itself. Even the preparatory time can be (and is) a lot of work. Though, our focus isn’t on that part of the process. Instead, we want to focus on what comes next—what comes when you’ve actually chosen a place to move. What makes a long-term care facility good or bad? Let’s find out.
First of all, when visiting the facility, what’s the first thing you notice upon entering? Are there any weird smells emanating from any of the residents’ rooms or any other common areas? If there is, warning bells should be going off, and red flags should be raised if the overall cleanliness of the facility itself doesn’t match the standards you would set for your own home, take caution. If you wouldn’t let yourself be cared for here, it probably isn’t the best place for your loved one either.
Pay attention to the other residents too. Are they happy and smiling, or do they seem lethargic and listless? Is the facility lively or lifeless? If there are no residents you can see, speak up and ask where they are or what they may be doing. Keep an eye out for the employees as well. Are they eager to assist and have a pep in their step? Are they actively trying to help residents participate in activities? Beware of stationary employees or those who act more like a drill sergeant barking orders instead of gently coaxing people into participation. Let’s now look at some questions you should ask:
- Can the facility meet your explicit needs? Don’t be afraid to be detailed in explaining what they are.
- What is the cost each month? Are there any added costs for extra help with things like medications or incontinence? Even little things can cost quite a bit extra.
- Is there a community fee for moving someone in and refurbishing a room? Is it refundable if they don’t want to stay?
- What kinds of activities does the facility offer?
- Are religious services held on or offsite?
- What’s the ratio of caregivers to residents. There should be no less than 1 to 15 for assisted living and 1 to 8 for memory care.
- What conditions would cause a resident to move to another care level?
- Are there regular visits by physicians?
- What sort of Alzheimer’s or dementia care training do staff members receive?
- Is the facility licensed for dementia care, and do they have a special unit for those patients?
- Do dementia patients have a daily routine? THEY SHOULD.
- Question the residents about life at the facility and whether they enjoy living there. You can ask any friends or family who may be visiting as well. However, it’s important to trust your gut. If something seems off, it likely really is.
If you or someone you love needs assistance with Elder Care law issues, call 856-281-3131. Let us help ease your stress and give you a plan.