Moving to a long-term care facility can be a difficult and emotional time for both the new resident and the family. The best way to pick the right long-term care facility is by doing the research ahead of the need. With the luxury of time, a family can establish a short list of long-term care facilities to contact when the need arises. Here are five things for a family to consider when researching long-term care facilities.
1. Where is the best location?
For a family with deep roots in one particular community, the resident’s hometown may make the most sense. For a family that’s more spread out across the country, there may be more potential locations to explore. Important factors include where the resident’s healthcare providers are located, where the resident will receive the most visitors, and—of course!—where the resident will feel most comfortable. Collect a list of potential properties based on the location or locations that make the most sense for the family’s circumstances.
2. What are the resident’s needs?
Consider the resident’s needs, both current and anticipated. From assisted living to skilled nursing with memory care, a variety of long-term care options are available. Many facilities offer progressive care all at one location to meet a resident’s developing needs. An independent resident can move into a retirement apartment and add basic services such as housekeeping and personal care when the need arises. As medical needs progress, the resident can move into the assisted living area or skilled nursing area to receive the needed services. Make a list of the resident’s needs and find out which facilities within the location area or areas can meet them.
3. What are the resident’s wants?
Quality of life is so important. Someone who has lived an active outdoor lifestyle may thrive in an environment with plenty of outdoor space or a sunny atrium. An animal lover may really appreciate living in a facility that includes a robust therapy animal program. On-site religious services may be important to the resident. Finally, what type of activities does the resident enjoy and how does that compare to the offerings at each facility? While this list is more about “nice-to-haves” rather than requirements, it can help narrow down the list of facilities or help the resident and family determine priorities.
4. What financial resources are available for the long-term care?
What is the monthly budget available for the long-term care? Does the resident have long-term care insurance? Will the resident qualify for Medicaid or veteran’s assistance? What is the resident’s monthly income, if any? Are family members contributing to the monthly cost? With the budget established, some facilities may be out of financial reach and can be removed from the list of candidate long-term care facilities.
5. Will the facility be a good fit?
As the list is narrowed down, it’s time to start visiting long-term care facilities for a first-hand impression. Ideally, the resident will be able to attend the tours. Once on site, take a look at the building and grounds. Do all the public areas look clean and neat? Are the grounds well taken care of? Is there ample light and fresh air inside? Be sure to have a meal in the dining hall to assess the food. It’s also important to assess the culture. How does the staff treat the residents and each other? Do the residents seem happy and engaged? A facility that has made it this far in the research and seems like a good match has earned a spot on the short list.
Moving to a long-term care facility can be difficult for everyone involved. With a short list of facilities to contact when the need arises, the family will be well prepared to ease the transition.
Contact a Florida Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning is a way to ease difficult transitions for your loved ones. We can help. Call our office at 561-395-6800 or fill out our contact form to schedule a meeting and we will be in touch to get that scheduled.