10 Tips for Choosing the Right Senior Care Facility for Your Loved One

Let’s be honest, no one looks forward to the day when they have to put their loved one in a senior care facility.

Whether it’s your parent, grandparent, or spouse, it’s never easy to put them in the hands of someone else. This is a vulnerable time for them, so you have to make sure that the facility is going to provide the care they need.

There are a few things that can help you weed out the places that you should keep your loved one away from.

1. Know the Level of Care They Need

Knowing the level of care that you loved one needs can make a world of difference.

Independent living is pretty much what it sounds like; it’s a community of seniors who live in the same area but are pretty much on their own.

These communities are typically apartments, condos, or trailers. The clubhouse or office of these communities typically has information on how to get things like meals on wheels, but these services are not included in the rent.

Assisted living is still somewhat independent as the seniors live in apartment-style housing but receive assistance. This is good if your loved one needs help with cooking, medication management, or bathing. People will come in to help him with these things, but they will live off-site.

Continuous care retirement communities are a combination of the above, appealing to seniors who need extensive care or have certain disorders. They will have on-site caretakers to make sure your loved one has everything he or she needs 24/7.

In a community like this, the seniors who need more care can get it, and the ones who want more independence can have it.

2. Ask Your Loved One

As your touring different facilities, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the logistics of everything and forget the most important part.

Your loved one’s opinion.

While it’s important to make sure they will get the care they need, your senior is going to be the one living there. They need to like the facility too.

If they don’t dislike the place or the people, it doesn’t matter how great the facility is — they won’t be happy there.

3. License and Reputation

Make sure the facility that you send your loved one to has a license and a good reputation.

Double check whatever the facility tells you about these things. Make sure you not only ask about its license but its certifications and insurance as well.

If you find any discrepancies in the information that they provide and what you find they actually have, then that’s a big red flag. Perhaps that facility isn’t the best place for your loved one.

4. Make Sure the Facility Is Caring

The licensing and certifications are important, but you also want to make sure that you leave your loved one in the care of someone who actually cares.

Pay attention to the way they interact with your loved one and the other seniors who live there.

These people are going to become a big part in your loved one’s life, so you want to make sure they take that responsibility to heart.

5. Location, Location, Location

Even though the facility’s location doesn’t have a lot to do with the quality of the care, it’s still a factor that you should consider.

You want to make sure it’s located in an area where you’re comfortable leaving your loved one, and that it’s not too far from you.

This is especially important if you want to be able to visit frequently. In case you’re from out of state or you live in a different area, this aspect doesn’t matter that much.

If you’re planning on visiting often, make sure that the facility is somewhere that you won’t mind driving to after work or on the weekends.

6. Ask Your Loved One’s Doctor

Your loved one’s doctor will have a good idea of not only the level of care they need right now but what will be needed over the next few years too. You don’t want to have to make this decision all over again if your senior will ever require a higher level of care.

A doctor will also be able to refer you to a great senior care facility. Let him know what area you’re interested in so he can point you in the right direction.

7. Talk to People in the Senior Care Facility

The best way to know if the facility does a good job caring for seniors is to actually talk to those who live there.

Make sure you speak to a few different groups of seniors. This will give you a good idea of what to expect.

You definitely want to make sure to talk to someone who looks like they need the same level of care as your loved one. That way, you get a clear understanding of how well the facility staff deals with the tasks you need them for.

8. Pay Attention to Cleanliness

If the facility isn’t clean, then it isn’t as stringent as it may seem. If you can’t trust them to keep their own floors clean, how can you trust them to make sure your loved one takes his or her meds on time?

This is a red flag that you need to keep in mind as you make your decision.

9. Size of the Facility

Is it a big place or is it like this care facility that only has six people per house? A smaller place might be what you’re looking for as the care can be more personalized and the staff really has a chance to get to know your senior.

However, if your loved one is super social, then you might want a bigger facility. That way, he or she will have plenty of people to talk to.

10. Trust Your Gut

When it really comes down to it, you know what’s best for your loved one. If it doesn’t feel right, then it’s probably not the right fit.

If you look for the things we’ve mentioned above, then your loved one is in the best hands — yours. Stay alert, check the facts, and everything will be fine. Choosing a senior care facility isn’t as difficult as it seems.

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