What should you look for when selecting a long-term care community? Here are a few tips to go by when making this important decision.
Making a decision about long-term care is never easy and it’s important to inspect each one carefully. You can make the process easier by listing down what to look for in a long-term care community.
Once you know that senior care is the best option for you or your loved one, you’ll have to do your homework to choose the right, safe long-term care facility or community. With some research and planning, you can find one that will suit your needs.
Things to look for in a long-term care community.
Knowing what to look for will empower you to make a reliable choice so that you can rest assured that your loved one will be safe and in the best care. The following criteria- in no special order- will help you make the best decision possible.
Safety and cleanliness
These are two basic things that you should look for. The importance of both safety and cleanliness is huge, especially in the case of eldercare. Here are a few things to check:
- Follow your nose. Are there any offensive odors?
- Are the hallways or doorways clear, spacious, and well-lit?
- What is the protocol for infection control amidst the uncertainties involved in the context of COVID-19?
Determine your needs
Knowing the needs of your loved ones is crucial to decide what sort of care is best for them. The facility should have licensed nurses and staff who are available at the facility during the designated hours every day. The staff has to be friendly, caring, and supportive while providing the required care.
Choices and independence
Freedom to make choices is something that everyone wants, and you should consider this point while deciding. The ability to choose their activities independently can boost the mental and physical health of the senior resident greatly.
Rules regarding visitors
The facility should welcome families and friends at any given time. This may seem basic, but it could be a red flag if a facility has strict visiting hours. It’s best to study the visitor policy beforehand. If they do have visiting-hour restrictions, ask why and question whether or not the reasons make sense to you.
When your loved one leaves the comfort of their home, you can make the transition easier for them by looking for a home-like environment.
- The rooms and apartments should feel more like home.
- For memory care facilities, the layout should be simple.
- There should be some life around the facility, such as fish tanks and caged birds. A garden can be a source of pleasure for your loved one.
- Little things like seating areas, warm interior design, and artwork can make the environment more pleasant
Location and size
- You always want your loved ones to be as close to you as possible, so deciding the location is a really important factor to consider in order to easily visit them frequently.
- Places should be easily accessible and safe.
- There should be enough rooms that offer a quiet area and activity spaces so that your loved ones can easily decide what they want to do at any given time.
Services and maintenance
- Special healthcare services should be available for different patients, for example, for patients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and should also provide the right rehabilitative care.
- Depending on your beliefs, religious services can be crucial.
- Regular visits of doctors should be available to the residents.
- There should be barbers and beauty salons for the residents.
- Nowadays, readily available Internet access is also a requirement.
- Services include help with activities of daily living (ADLs) like eating, bathing, laundry, taking medicine, and transportation.
Quality of food and food services
- Monitoring of the nutritional intake of residents is necessary. And in case of poor eating habits and difficulty in eating, the facility should notify family members and physicians; ask what their policies are on this matter.
- The facility should have the availability of well-balanced and attractively prepared meals to accommodate residents’ diet and health problems.
Activities and recreation
- The presence of community groups encourages the residents to interact with people outside the facility.
- There should be enough social, physical, and creative activities available for the residents.
- It is ideal if the residents are actually busy and enjoying the things to do and places to go within the facility.
- Playing music for residents helps engage and connect with others.
Respect for the residents
Respect can make the seniors feel like a part of the community.
- The staff should call the residents by their first names.
- The staff should respect the privacy of the residents.
- The facility should get the residents involved while making little changes and decisions in the facility.
Needless to say, money plays a big role in this decision. You have to analyze your finances carefully and what they will cover in order to choose the appropriate and affordable facility.
Depending on the medical needs of the senior, you should check if those needs are met in that facility. Some examples include licensed staff that can help with medication, IV, and other such treatments.
While choosing a habitat for your loved ones, one should never compromise on anything. It is essential to be clear about your loved one’s requirements and if their needs will be met in that facility.
By focusing on the above-mentioned list of what to look for in a long-term care facility, you can provide a safe, healthy, and comfortable living arrangement to your loved one.
Trust your gut
This is a simple step and may seem obvious, but it can make an enormous difference. What does your gut tell you about the place? Visit the facility a few times before making a decision and take into account your intuition about the vibes you get from the facility, its environment, and its staff.