Choosing a long-term senior care facility for your loved one revolves mainly around the type of care that they currently need and the quality of care that can be provided. Other factors should also be considered such as future needs like for those with Alzheimer's disease where the care may need to become more intensive.
Here are 7 things to consider when choosing a long-term care community:
Type of Housing
Some nursing homes provide accommodations that are much more similar to a hospital, some provide dwelling spaces more like apartments and some provide both. Your loved one may be more independent when they go in but need more care as they age, etc.
Make sure 24 hour care is available if needed. Medical monitoring usually depends on the type of housing you choose. More nursing care is provided in a hospital-like setting. Make sure there are plenty of nurses to care for residents.
For those with dementia or specific needs such as geriatric psychiatry, make sure this is a priority at the facility. Most places have designated units or housing complexes. Make sure there are staff trained for and dedicated to the unit and needs of residents.
Residents will become bored, sedentary and even depressed without an outlet. Make sure there are regular activities available that your loved one is able to participate in or that are dedicated to his or her specific needs.
Something that is often overlooked or taken for granted, especially at facilities that have more independent housing units is meals. Whether your loved one has the capability in the room to cook but also having the availability of meals cooked for them on the premises. It can help to have meal services if they are unwell or deteriorate in a way that doesn't allow them to make food for themselves as often.
Security can be a major issue for many nursing homes with staff and family constantly moving through and possible public access. Make sure there are ways to monitor residents and secure the building. Alzheimer's and dementia wings should have an extra level of security for the safety of the residents.
Standard of Care
Check the standard of care the senior care facility provides. Many nursing homes are inspected by the state government and can be found online. You can also check with local government agencies specializing in senior care such as social services for information.