Factors to Consider When Selecting a Long-Term Care Facility for a Loved One

Older adults will need help with everyday living activities due to chronic illnesses, mobility problems, dementia, and frailty. Sometimes a nursing home or assisted living facility will be required. Quality and costs vary depending on their long-term care needs.

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Factors to Consider When Selecting a Long-Term Care Facility for a Loved One
5 Min Read November 17th, 2022

There are over 65,000 residential care facilities for senior citizens in the US. Deciding to place your loved one in a care facility is extremely difficult and stressful. However, choosing a suitable facility can give you peace of mind knowing your loved one is receiving the best care.

So, how do you choose a care facility for your family member? Keep reading as we discuss the best qualities of care facilities and the essential features to look for in a care facility.

How To Choose a Care Facility for Loved One

Here are some of the best features to consider when considering which care facility is best for your loved ones.

  • Look For Medicaid and Medicare Certifications

You need assurance that the staff will meet your loved one's needs in the care facility. Not just their physical needs but their medical needs. You need to choose a facility with medically trained professionals on-site to handle any of their medical conditions in this later stage of life.

If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer's, you should look for a facility with special certification and experience to handle these conditions. 

Generally, you will need to choose a facility with full Medicaid and Medicare certifications. These certifications indicate that staff members will be well-equipped to handle your loved one's medications and medical care during their residency.

Medicaid will pay for the cost if your loved one has little or no income and assets. Medicare (and traditional health insurance) will only pay a limited number of days of skilled services in a nursing home. Unless your loved one has Long-Term Care Insurance, they will pay for these costs out of pocket from income and savings. 

  • Access Control Security and Visitor Management

Security is one of the most important things to look for in a care facility. Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable demographics in our society. This, unfortunately, often makes them vulnerable to crimes.

You need to choose a secure facility to prevent your loved one from falling victim to a crime, and you also need assurance that your loved one will not be able to leave the facility - which could result in tragedy should they become lost or confused.

Access control solutions like wireless video intercom systems protect the building from intruders and ensure that only staff members can enter and exit without assistance. Cloud-based access control is a modern security solution that allows for more oversight and quicker responses regarding care facility security. All security information is hosted on the cloud, allowing staff members to receive mobile alerts when a security incident occurs. Additionally, staff members can check the status of door locks, locking and unlocking them remotely using a mobile application. This type of fast-acting security is what your loved one needs in a care facility to ensure their safety.

  • Visitor Check-In

Although you need to know that the building is secure, you also need assurance that you can easily visit your loved ones and provide them with the company and comfort they need. With cloud-based access control comes seamless and easy visitor check-in that allows you to enter the facility without waiting for assistance. You can simply fill out a digital form on your mobile device, providing your details and contact information. 

Once you have filled out this form, you can gain temporary access credentials that will allow you to enter the building and make your way to the visitor area to see your loved one. If accessing the care center is convenient and straightforward, you will be able to see your loved one more regularly without worrying about how long it will take and whether a staff member will be available to let you into the building.

  • Transparency In Services and Practices

Trust is essential when placing your loved one in a care facility. One of the best ways to determine the trustworthiness of a facility is to see how transparent they are about its policies, services, and practices.

Look for information on how they practice medical care, the services they offer, the activity plans at the facility, and so on. This information will indicate how hands-on the care is and how many activities and stimulating exercises your loved one will be able to enjoy throughout their residency.

  • Location And Size of The Facility

The facility you choose needs to be close by. If you travel for over an hour, you will be less inclined to visit your loved one and quickly come to view the whole ordeal as a chore.

So, opt for a facility close by so you can visit your loved one regularly without great inconvenience. Your loved one needs regular visits to help them feel connected to you during this late stage of life.

Another thing to consider is the size of the facility. More specifically, the size of the facility is in proportion to the number of staff available at the facility. If you want your loved one to receive hands-on care and plenty of attention, you should steer away from extensive facilities with a limited number of staff members. This red flag indicates your loved one will not receive attentive service during their residency, as the number of residents will run staff members off their feet.

  • Violation And Reputation History

You need a facility that will not make your loved one the victim of a scandal. We often hear about scandals and poor treatment at care facilities, which needs to change. You should take great care to look through the facility's violation and reputation history by reading news articles and customer reviews. Any blemish on their record is a red flag, and you should avoid this, and you should avoid this facility.

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 Helping Older Family Members Can Be Stressful Without Assistance

Choosing a long-term care facility for your loved one can be stressful. This is a difficult time and highlights that your loved one is entering their last stretch of life. So, consider these factors when choosing a care facility to ensure your loved one is comfortable, safe, and cared for during their stay.

As you think about your older parents and other aging family members, you better consider your retirement planning. How would you address the future costs and burdens of aging and declining health?

Long-term health costs are rising rapidly nationwide. Planning is essential to protect your 401(k) or other savings from these devastating costs. For many Americans, Long-Term Care Insurance is the affordable solution. You will safeguard your assets as it gives you access to quality care services, including in-home care. 

You will have the chance to avoid a nursing home. Most Long-Term Care Insurance is for in-home care. Most people obtain coverage in their 50s. Seek the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many available options.

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About the Author

John Lewis is a frequent writer and contributor to top online legal publications and blogs. He has dedicated his career to helping those of different social, economic, or cultural backgrounds access justice and gain confidence in the legal system.

LTC News Contributor John Lewis

John Lewis

Contributor since September 12th, 2022

Editor's Note

It is simpler to ignore aging and the chronic health issues that plague us as we age. But if you ignore the problem, it will get worse, and it may become a disaster for you and your family.

Being a family caregiver affects your loved ones physically, emotionally, and financially. When no other arrangements have been made, adult children or elderly spouses are responsible for providing care. These unskilled and unprepared caregivers endure various harmful consequences as they juggle caring for a loved one with their careers and other family responsibilities.

Much of this burden can be avoided with simple planning. Long-Term Care Insurance provides the tools and resources required to protect assets, provide first-rate care options, and reduce the stress and worry that could otherwise be placed on loved ones.

Be sure to start planning when you are still healthy, as premiums are based, in part, on your age and health when you obtain coverage. A specialist will provide you will accurate quotes from all the top companies so you can get the right plan.

Resources and Tools Available on LTC NEWS

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  • The Ultimate Long-Term Care Insurance Guide - If you like details, you will enjoy this comprehensive guide to LTC Insurance. 
  • Long-Term Care Guides  - LTC NEWS has several other guides that can help you plan or find quality care.
  • Frequently Asked Questions - Get the answers to the most often asked questions about long-term health care planning and LTC Insurance.
  • Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim - Does a loved one - like your Mom or Dad - have a Long-Term Care Insurance policy and need to file a claim to get benefits? LTC NEWS will help. If they don't have a policy, but you need help in getting a plan of care and finding caregivers, LTC NEWS can also assist.
  • Reverse Mortgages - Learn about reverse mortgages and ask questions about how they work and if you or a loved one would benefit from one.

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