Nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities (SNF), and assisted living facilities (ALF) are collectively known as long-term care facilities. They offer personal and medical care and assistance to seniors with functional limitations. Statistics reveal that by 2050, more than 27 million seniors will use long-term care facilities, of which 30 percent will require support with three or more activities of daily living.
Selecting the perfect long-term care facility for your senior family member can be a challenging task as you want him/her to receive expert care. To ensure that he/she lives comfortably in the new abode you choose for him/her, you must research your options well.
Here are six points to bear in mind when looking for the ideal long-term care facility for your senior to ensure that he/she is adequately cared for.
1. Define Your Requirements
Before you shortlist long-term care facilities for your loved ones, figure out your precise requirements. Depending on your elder’s age and current health condition, he/she may require assistance with activities of daily living (ADL), medical and memory care, and/or special dietary requirements.
In recent times, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities are the two most commonly preferred long-term care options as they cater to most of the seniors’ requirements.
Skilled nursing facilities, commonly referred to as nursing homes, provide 24-hour medical assistance to seniors. Their staff comprises trained nurses and nursing assistants who cater to their medical and select personal needs. If your senior is bedridden or has complicated behavioral or memory issues, you can choose this option.
Assisted living facilities are for those who require assistance with two or more ADLs. The staff includes non-medical, yet skilled professionals who can assist your senior with bathing, dressing, diet, medication reminders, and transportation.
Before looking for a life-long care facility, list down the type of care your senior needs.
2. Choose the Location Wisely
Once you are clear on your senior’s needs, look for a long-term care facility in and around your city. Refer to your list of priorities and shortlist a few facilities that meet your requirements. Visit these senior care facilities personally to get a better picture of their proximity to the city.
The long-term care facility will be your senior’s new home and you do not want him/her to feel lonely here.
Therefore, choose a facility that is close to your dwelling to be able to visit your loved one frequently. For instance, if you reside in Albuquerque, a simple search on senior care Albuquerque will offer you a list of eldercare facilities in the city.
Check for the proximity of the care facility to other pertinent services like hospitals, and rehabilitation and physical therapy centers. In case an experienced physician is not available at the long-term care facility, close proximity to a hospital will be crucial during emergencies.
3. Research the Eldercare Facility Thoroughly
Look for a facility that has been in the senior care domain for a long time and enjoys a good track record. Ask family and friends for recommendations. Visit the senior care facilities’ website or their social media page and go through client reviews and experiences.
Check for complaints registered by the clients, especially pertaining to safety issues. You can do this with the help of Better Business Bureau. Also, inquire whether the senior care facility is certified and ask for documents that substantiate this.
Visit the eldercare facility and seek permission to meet the residents personally. Check whether the residents are well-groomed and dressed appropriately for the season. Share a meal with them and see if they enjoy it.
Inspect the common areas and the rooms from the hygiene perspective to ensure your loved one is comfortable and safe.
4. Pay Attention to the Quality of the Staff
During your personal visit to the senior care facility, it is wise to meet the management and the staff who will be attending to your senior. Observe the manner in which they communicate and attend to the needs of the current residents. Are they caring and friendly? Do they treat the residents with respect?
See if their medical staff is qualified and experienced enough to handle emergency medical situations. Also, check whether the staff is being trained regularly to stay updated with the latest developments in the field of senior care.
Inquire about the staff-to-patient ratio maintained at the senior care facility. This ratio will give you an idea about how much attention and care your loved one will receive. Choose a senior care center that offers a high staff-to-patient ratio to ensure that several staff members are available to respond to multiple needs of the residents.
5. Check on Senior Engagement Activities
You do not want your senior to feel bored and lonely in his/her new home. Go beyond the marked calendar of events and check whether any interesting activities are planned for the members.
If you senior has a special interest, make sure he/she is able to pursue it. Choose a senior care facility that organizes hobby meets, outings, and other recreational events to keep seniors engaged and entertained.
Does the staff take seniors out for shopping, movies, picnics, or to the park? All these activities will keep your senior happy and help him/her socialize with other residents.
6. Go through the Licensing Reports
Licensing reports of the nursing staff and the management offer you details about the surveys and audits conducted on the senior care facility. Eldercare centers are required by law to post their licensing reports on their websites or social media pages.
In case you are unable to gain access to these documents, you can either ask the management or visit the State Licensing Office website to get it.
Finding the right senior care facility for your senior isn’t easy. Your senior has been in your loving care so far and you need a long-term care facility that will attend to his/her needs as passionately as you have. The above-mentioned points will guide you through the process of finding the perfect senior care facility for your loving family member.