Questions to Ask When Choosing a Long-Term Care Facility
Sometimes home care by a loved on just isn’t an option. This is when seniors and their families may begin to consider a long-term care facility. In the next few posts I will discuss some questions to ask and what to consider when deciding on long-term care facilities.
What type of Long-Term Care facility should I choose?
When determining the type of long-term care facility to choose, there are many points to consider. For example, one must consider the level of care needed for day to day activities. This alone could determine the type of facility you may want to check out.
- Assisted living facilities encourage independence. This type of facility works best for seniors who require minimal assistance.
- Nursing Homes have nurses and staff members around the clock to offer assistance to residents who require advanced care.
- Residential Care Homes have more of a home-like environment. They usually have no more than 10 residents. Daily assistance is provided as with the other facilities; however, medical professionals are usually not on-site.
What is the Facility’s Reputation?
- When you visit a facility take note of the relationship between the staff and residents. Are residents being treated with respect? Is it a friendly and pleasant environment?
- Also, ask to see the facility’s annual survey results. Licensed homes are examined by the state each year. You will want to check if there are any violations. Having this information will help you in making a well informed decision.
Location of the Facility
- Consider how close the facility is to family and friends. It unfortunately has been noted that residents who receive frequent visitors receive better care.
- Check out the neighborhood. Research restaurants and stores nearby, as well as crime statistics.
- You may also want to consider the facility’s proximity to closest hospital or medical center.
- Does the facility take the needs of each individual resident into account? Make sure the facility provides frequent care plan meetings for residents. Inquire if these care plan meetings will involve the resident and/or the family. This will give the resident and family an opportunity to discuss any areas of concern.
- Does the facility takes one’s religious, spiritual and cultural needs into account?
When you have narrowed your search to a few facilities, you’ll want to compare costs.
Some questions to consider:
1. Are any of the costs covered by supplemental insurance or Medicaid? Depending on the level of care needed, these programs will not cover the costs.
Also, keep in mind that many facilities prefer private pay residents. These are residents who pay from their own resources. However, the high cost of long-term care and quickly deplete resources.
2. Can you cover the remaining costs? For how long?
Keep in mind, a spouse’s income and assets are also expected to pay for an individual’s care. If not planned for properly, the spouse who does not need long-term care may become impoverished as private payment for the care of their loved one continues until they become eligible for Medicaid.
An Elder Law attorney can help protect your interests. The sooner you do this, the better, because many states have strict laws on how you can protect your assets.
In an upcoming blog, I will discuss some other questions to consider when choosing a Long-Term Care facility.