Many individuals and families need to make a decision about the future of their aging parents. And there are many different styles of senior care to choose from. Whether you need a full-time place for your senior parent to live, like Seasons Memory Care, or a person that lives in your parents’ home, doing your homework and checking out the place and its workers is a must.
Here are 10 things you need to know when it comes to choosing the right senior care home.
1. The Staff
Ask questions about the staff when visiting the facility for the first time. Are the staff registered nurses or certified helpers or simply employees? Ask what are the qualifications of the people who are going to be caring for your loved one day in and day out.
Also, keep your ears open when visiting. Listen to how the staff interacts with the residents and each other. If it seems like the staff can’t get along with each other, they may not be the best people to care for your aging parents.
2. The Food
How is the food prepared and when is it served? Do your parents have the option of eating in their room or must they go to the dining room? It should be the resident’s choice to eat where they want at any given time.
Make a trip to the dining room during meal time and see how the residents are acting. Do they seem to like the food, or are they disgusted with what is in front of them?
What does the room look like and smell like? If the food is not appetizing, then no one will want to eat it. If the room is dull and without light, then it is not the place to take a hungry person.
3. The Rooms
Look at several different resident rooms to get an idea of which floor plan would work best for your parent. Depending on the health of your loved one, they may be able to stay in a place that is more like an apartment with more than one room.
If their health is not as good as it used to be, then they might be better off in one room with a little amount of furniture and a bathroom.
Ask about activities. You don’t want your parents to be sitting watching television all day, even if that is something they would enjoy. They need to be presented with the option of many different activities.
Do the residents have the option of going out one or more days during the week? This could be to visit the store, grocery shopping, the movies, or any type of fun activity.
Are there scheduled events like singing groups and touring troupes of actors? What about therapy dogs and other animal visitors, these types of events always lift the spirits of those who can’t get out.
When you visit for the first time, you are going to expect everything to be clean. So you may want to stop by another day just to see what goes on when there are no expected visitors.
Look to see if the floors are sticky or clean. What does the place smell like? It should smell and look and feel clean. Of course, there are going to be accidents, but they should be cleaned and dealt with immediately.
Ask how the facility handles emergencies. Do they have a doctor on staff, or do they begin CPR? What if your loved one has a Do Not Resuscitate directive (DNR), how is that handled.
Is there a firehouse nearby that can get the ambulance and medical help to your parents nearly immediately? The last thing you want is a long wait for emergency medical personnel from across town.
The way a facility handles your parents’ insurance is a major element in the deciding factor to place your loved ones in this residential home.
Is there a dedicated employee that only handles insurance? This would be ideal as they would not be too busy with other duties to miss an insurance deadline.
What type of extras does this particular facility offer that others don’t? It could be a small movie theater on site or a bowling alley next door. This such as a fancy restaurant and workout room are always a good start to extras.
There is any number of services that should be part of the monthly contract. This may be a cleaning person once a week, on-site laundry services and grocery delivery.
Ask if there is a therapist on staff. The mental health of the elderly is a large concern and needs to be addressed as if it were any other type of illness.
Unfortunately, the older generation is not too keen on talking with a psychologist about how they feel or what is bothering them; however, it is important for them to have an outlet for what bothers them.
What is the policy for visitors to the facility? Are you and your family welcome at any time or is there visiting hours? It is best that you can visit with your parents on your schedule and not the homes.
What about overnight guests? Sometimes children will want to stay with their grandparents, and this should be allowed if at all possible.
And are they allowed to keep a pet? What is the policy on interactions with other residents with pets? There needs to be a safe space for both pets and their owners.
When it comes time to look for a place to move your parents or elderly relatives, be sure to look closely at these 10 items and anything else that may seem out of place. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or speak your mind if something is not right. You are now the voice of your loved ones and need to make sure they are not only safe but comfortable.
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