How to Choose the Best Long-term Care for Elderly Loved Ones

When elderly loved ones lose the ability to care for themselves, it can be stressful for the entire family. Knowing that a facility will be responsible for the physical and mental health of your loved one makes choosing a long-term care facility one of the most difficult decisions you may face. A recent article in The Columbian highlighted some of the factors to take into consideration when choosing a long-term care plan for your loved one.

Placement Agencies

Consider using a Placement Agency to assist with your research. Agents will assess the patient’s physical needs and sift through the services of various facilities to find the ones that best meet your criteria. Agents will also tour facilities with you. Placement Agency services are free to the client.

Know Your Options

  • In-home Care is available for older people who still have some level of independence. Home health aids can visit daily to assist with bathing, dressing, mobility, medication management and housekeeping. Home health aids are not licensed to perform sterile procedures.
  • Assisted Living Centers offer on-staff registered nurses, private rooms, organized activities, custodial care, escorts to meals, and limited medical services.
  • Nursing Homes (also called skilled nursing facilities) offer a full medical staff and the highest level of round-the-clock care.

Social Needs

Examine the social needs of your loved one. If they generally enjoy solitude, they may not appreciate a facility that boasts many group activities.

Cost of Care

Think about the funds needed to pay for long-term care. If it is possible that your loved one’s funds may be exhausted before care is no longer needed, consider choosing a facility that accepts Medicaid.

Safety

Nursing home abuse can be a serious problem. Asking the right questions can be the first step to preventing abuse.

  • Know the ratings of the facilities you are considering.  Ask to see the state inspection reports, look at the ratings of independent organizations, and on Medicare.gov.
  • Visit the facilities you are considering. Pay attention to the behavior of residents, cleanliness of the facility, and conduct of the staff. It is a good idea to visit during meal times and taste the food.
  • Find out if the staff is awake 24 hours a day. This is especially important for patients who suffer from dementia and are prone to wandering.

Unfortunately, even after asking all the right questions and choosing the best available facility for your loved one, nursing home abuse is still a possibility. Be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect, such as bedsores, poor hygiene, unsanitary conditions, bruises and dehydration. Visit your loved one often and pay attention to their physical and mental state.

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If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected by a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our caring and knowledgeable attorneys today to schedule your free consultation.

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