The number of people ages 65 and up is expected to reach 98.2 million by 2060. In other words, the senior population will more than double within 40 years. As your loved one grows older, they might feel the need to start looking into an elderly care home.
While this isn’t an easy decision to make, helping your loved one through the process can make all the difference. That way, they can find a care home where they’re happy and comfortable.
Here are the eight steps you need to take during your search. With these tips, choosing a care home can even feel stress-free.
Discover your loved one’s new home with these eight tips!
1. Consider the Options Available
The first step is to understand that not all facilities are the same. You’ll need to differentiate each care home based on their:
For example, some care homes help patients with everyday living activities. These can include:
If your loved one needs these services, you might want to look into a facility that offers assisted living services.
To develop a list of potential care homes, you can check the:
- Local yellow pages
- Local Area Agency of Aging (AAA)
- Retirement guides
- The state licensing agency
- The long-term care ombudsman’s office
As you start developing this list, make sure each facility is licensed. When you speak with the local licensing agency, ask if any of these facilities have a complaint filed against them. If so, mark them off your list!
2. Ask Friends and Family
You can also speak with friends and family members for recommendations. Their insight might help when choosing a care home. They can provide stories that give a first-person account regarding a specific facility.
As you speak with friends and family members, make sure to discuss any concerns they have. Would they recommend the facility?
Ask if there were any facilities they marked off their list while they searched for a care home. Why did they disapprove?
Speaking with friends and family members can help simplify your own search.
3. Read Online Reviews
Once you have a list of senior living facilities, head online. Read online reviews regarding each facility to get a better idea about the living conditions.
Don’t discount a facility due to a single negative review. Instead, use these reviews to gain more insight into each facility. What positives do people have to say?
Make a list of the pros and cons for each nursing home. You can then use this list later on when choosing a care home for your loved one.
4. Call for More Information
You can also call each facility to gather more information. When learning how to choose a care home, it’s all about thorough research!
Call the facility to ask about:
- Floor plans
- A map of the facilities
- Brochures that discuss features and amenities
- A copy of the residents’ rights and rules
Take the time to review these materials with your loved one. What concerns do they have about the facility?
You can also ask yourself a few questions to help narrow down your options. For example:
- What kind of training do staff members complete?
- What’s the ratio between residents and staff?
- What happens if your loved one’s needs change?
- How do the current residents behave?
- Can the residents spend time outside?
- Are customized care packages available?
- Are there any shopping centers nearby?
Keep track of your answers to review later on.
5. Visit Each Facility
Once you have a shorter list to work with, take the time to review each care home. Call ahead to schedule a tour. Make sure to schedule your tour when they’re not too busy.
That way, you can make sure there’s time to ask all your questions.
Take the time to make sure your loved one is involved when choosing a care home. That way, they won’t feel regret later on. Give them a chance to speak and ask questions during the tour as well.
Ask if you can speak with any of the residents at each of the nursing homes. They’ll give you an insider’s exclusive into how the care home is run. Ask any questions you have about the services, care, and staff as well.
Once your tour is over, ask your loved one if they felt comfortable during their time exploring the facility. What did they like? What did they feel apprehensive about?
Then, add these answers to your notes.
6. Consider Your Loved One’s Needs
The average life expectancy in the US is 78.6 years. Providing seniors with the care they need can help improve our country’s life expectancy.
During your search, make sure to get an understanding of what your loved one needs. For example, they might require:
- 24-hour supervision
- Medical assistance
- Housekeeping and laundry
- Fun activities
- Social services
- Wellness and exercise programs
- Health care management
Does your loved one want to socialize rather than spend time alone? Maybe they get bored easily. They’ll likely want to look for a facility that offers activities and mental stimulation.
What about their food needs? Are they capable of cooking? Maybe they would prefer a small kitchen in their living space instead of a common dining area.
Make a list of what your loved one considers a priority. What are their must-have items versus the items they want to have?
Then, arrange your list of nursing homes based on how many items they match.
7. Review Your Budget
As you start narrowing down your list of facilities, make sure to review the cost for each one. Prices usually rise over time as well.
Make sure to discuss a payment plan with someone at the facility during your tour.
8. Trust Your Gut
When choosing a care home, it really comes down to trusting your gut. Make sure to ask your loved one for their opinion. Do they have a facility they’d prefer?
Review your notes to determine if one care home stands out from the rest.
Then, make sure to review the contract in depth. You might want to consider having a lawyer review the contract before you sign it as well.
Home Sweet Home: Finding the Right Care Home for Your Elderly Loved One
Help your loved one find their home sweet home. With these tips, you can find the right care home for your elderly loved one with ease!
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