With baby boomers turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 every single day, many individuals and their families are considering senior care and housing options such as assisted living. When considering senior care needs it is important to think about what your needs really are. Senior care services can meet your needs in health care and support services of individuals suffering with physical disabilities, chronic medical conditions, various forms of age related dementia or a terminal illness, in addition to meeting simple safety and security needs.
Assisted living and adult family homes help seniors with their daily activities, insure that nutritional needs are met and that medication is taken on time as well as offering companionship and social interaction. Choosing an assisted living facility or adult family home as part of your family’s senior care plan is a big step that should not be taken lightly. Finding the right senior care solution requires patience, a little bit of common sense and knowing what to look for.
As a senior care consultant, it is my job to help you ask the tough questions and find the facility that will best meet the needs of you or your loved one.
Some of the important question that anyone should ask when considering a senior care facility are:
- Would I want to live here?
- Is this the right location?
- Is this assisted living facility near the places and people my loved one relies on?
- Is there a full-service hospital nearby?
- Is the facility located close to relatives, doctor offices, shopping and other services?
- What is the facility’s abuse and violation history? Get updated information about disputes, misconduct reports, citations and inspections at Meidcare’s website, Nursing Home Compare. You may also get information through your local long-term care ombudsman’s office, reachable at http://www.ltcop.org.
- How much will I pay and what does that cover? Read the fine print. Assisted living programs have widely varying payment plans, options and scales.
- Do the visiting hours work for our family?
- How is the food? As people age, their desire for food can often decline. Choosing only assisted living programs with tantalizing, easy to eat food can help with this issue over time.
- What and how many special services does the facility offer? Whether you need them now or later, you’ll want to know if they offer services on site, or if you can easily secure them privately. (This includes occupational, physical and speech therapy, as well as dental care, foot care, eye care and hospice.)
- What level of assistance can I expect from the staff?
- What dispute procedures are in place?
- Can minimally mobile patients find safety in an emergency? Look for and ask about handicap accessibility, grab bars, available call buttons, emergency exits, skid-resistant floors and as always, a well-trained staff.