Choosing a long-term care facility is a big decision

As your parents age, you might have to consider having them somewhere that can provide them with the help they need to do daily tasks. In the early days of them needing help, you might be able to hire a home health agency, but when your parents begin to move beyond the point of only needing sporadic care, you might have to help them find a long-term care facility.

Choosing a long-term care facility is a huge decision. You have to think about a host of factors that can all impact the final options. Here are some points to get you started.

Consider the finances

While some people can afford any facility they want, the vast majority of people can't. You and your parents should sit down and talk about what they can afford. Find out about what assets they have, including those that might qualify as protected assets. You should also find out what type of insurance they will be able to use, for how long, and how much of the cost is covered. You might need to seek assistance from someone familiar with long-term care planning to help you learn what options are available.

Look at the safety record

You don't want your parents to move somewhere unsafe. Check out the safety record to find out what types of issues and complaints the facility has had. If you see anything that seems amiss, you might need to move on to the next option.

Make a visit

Take a tour of the facility to see how it works for your parents. If your parents want to remain together, you should find out if this is an option. Some long term care facilities are more like apartment-style arrangements, which might even allow them to bring a pet if they have one. As you tour the facility, pay attention to how residents interact with staff members and each other. This can let you know how the staff cares for the residents. Additionally, check the food that the facility offers to determine if it suits your parents' taste.

Check out the activities

You should also find out how much freedom your parents will have. Are there trips to local attractions or stores? Is there a good social calendar to help them stay active? Seniors who are in long term care facilities shouldn't be expected to just sit in bed all day. Many of them want to stay active.

Look into the care type

Some long term care facilities offer various care types from basic daily care to intensive medical management. Oftentimes, they will offer care options that can be tailored to your parents' needs. Finding a facility that works for your parents needs now and in the future might help you from having to go through this process again since they can just move from one type of care in the facility to the next easily.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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