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Long-Term Care

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Choosing Well: Long-Term Care Facilities
By Hilary Gibson, Staff Writer

(Page 3 of 3)

Philosophy of Care - does the facility focus on the needs of the individual resident? Can flexibility in routines be accommodated? Are there regular care planning meetings regarding your loved one? Will these meetings include you and other family members as well?

Individualized Care - is consideration given to individual cultural, religious or spiritual needs? Are other languages spoken? Is the facility “home-like”?

Atmosphere - what is the atmosphere like? Are residents up and about? Are they socializing with one another? Is the staff actively engaged with residents?  Does staff treat residents with respect?

Outdoor Areas - is there a nice spacious outdoor area for residents?  Is there a covered outdoor area in case of rain?

Another great way to obtain information is to speak directly to the residents. Ask them how they like living there, and let them know that you are considering the facility for a family member.

Larger facilities may offer an opportunity for you to speak with residents in a more private setting, enabling you to get more candid answers and information. You may find residents at smaller facilities to be a little less comfortable speaking about their experiences, since they have less privacy; if this is the case, don’t push the issue. After you’ve had the “official” tour, you may want to walk around the facility by yourself, unaccompanied. Just remember not to enter any of the residents’ rooms or areas without receiving permission first.

When making your final decision, take into consideration not only the services your loved one will need right now, but what they may need in the way of care further down the line. Make sure the facility you decide upon has services that you may also need in the future.

Before making your decision, carefully review the entire admissions packet, especially the section that covers fees and services with a complete schedule. Will Medicare be accepted? Will Medicare be willing to cover the chosen facility? Will Medicaid be accepted if personal funds run out? Even after doing all your homework and visiting several facilities, you may not find exactly what you’re looking for; however, keep your options open and flexible. You can help promote quality-of-care for your loved one by staying actively connected to them as much as possible, no matter what type of facility is decided upon.


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