FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/ Choosing the Right Partner in Care / Editorial List
“I will fearlessly acknowledge when providing
care for my family member becomes impossible, either
because of his or her condition or my own, and seek
other solutions for my family member's care needs.”
This principle in the Fearless
Caregiver Manifesto relates to one of the most
important decisions you may be asked to make as a
family caregiver—choosing an appropriate long-term
care facility for your loved one. With this decision
you are not only selecting a safe and comfortable
place in which your loved one will live, but also a
team of healthcare professionals who will become
your partners in care. Before you choose a facility
it is important to consider some important points.
The first thing to remember is that when entering
any facility is that you should trust your own
senses. Are you comfortable that the facilities
residents are content and well cared for in a clean
and comfortable surrounding?
You may want to also:
- Conduct a “smell test.” Be concerned if the
facility has a strong scent of urine or even an
overpowering disinfectant smell.
- Speak to as many different staff and
residents as possible. Get a sense of how the
residents and workers feel about the facility;
do they enjoy living or working there?
- Talk frankly with family members of other
- Notice how the staff treats the other
residents in their care. That probably reflects
the level of care your loved one will receive
- Visit at differing times of day and evening
before making a decision.
- Ask about the level of staff to resident.
How many are on duty during the day, overnight
and on weekends?
- Ask about the facility’s policy for holding
a bed if your loved one must be hospitalized or
go into a rehabilitation facility for a
- Ask to see a copy of the facility's contract
and read it carefully. You may want to consult
with an attorney before signing a contract.
- Find out if the facility has a comprehensive
disaster and emergency plan including evacuation
procedures and when it was last updated. Ask to
review a copy of the plan.
Visit a few area facilities
before making a choice. You are in charge of this
important decision and should never be made to feel
as though you were pressured to choose any
particular facility. You need to research, ask
plenty of questions and above all (as always), trust
your own instincts.
2014 Today's CaregiverTM Friendly
Awards - Long-Term Care Facilities