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Care Giving & Receiving

Advice on Choosing the Right Home

After you’ve considered the options and decided on the type of home you would like, then comes the task of finding the right one for you.

First, come up with a list of possibilities. You can generate that list with the help of friends or acquaintances who may either live in a facility or have a relative who lives in one.

It’s a good idea to visit the websites of your potential homes. Most assisted living and skilled nursing facilities have websites, and many rental properties do as well. They may even have virtual tours. The website can give you information such as the size of the facilities, amenities and services offered, the sort of care that is available twenty-four hours a day, and dining options. However, don’t rush to trust what is written on a facility’s website about the quality of care.

If you want to get a better idea of the quality of the facility, perform an online search for reviews. There are a lot of websites that compare assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, so you can see how your options stack up against one another. A good resource is Yelp. When you look at this information online, pay close attention to the date the information was posted. The most recent information will be more accurate than information from several years ago. A lot can change in a short period of time.

Once you’ve done all of the preliminary work, you’ll need to make an appointment for a visit. Before you call, prepare a list of questions so you can eliminate some places right away, without spending unnecessary time. Also prepare another list for your visit. When you go, bring a friend or family member for another set of eyes and a second opinion. It’s required by law that every facility receives an inspection from state officials, to ensure safety, cleanliness, quality of care, and adherence to the law. The results of these inspections are public, and are often found in a labeled binder in the lobby of the facility. Ask for this information and take a look at the results, because it’s a good indicator of the quality of care.

On your visit, you’ll likely be shown around by someone from administration. Ask any and all questions that pop into your head, as well as the ones on your list. Then write down the answers they give you, so you can review them later. Make sure you’re satisfied with the answers. Never feel intimidated. Talk to people who work in the various departments, such as activities, rehabilitation, and even the kitchen staff try to get a feel for whether they enjoy their work or not. . If they don’t look too happy, that’s a red flag.

Finally, talk to residents of the facility, if you are able to. Ask them what it’s like to live there, what they love about the place, and what their biggest concerns are.

Ultimately, where you go is your choice. Gather as much information about the different options, and make an educated decision.

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