5 Tips for Choosing Long Term Care Facilities

Last Updated on September 23, 2020 by Ellen Christian

This post on tips for choosing long term care facilities has been sourced by Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

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My Grandmother will turn 93 in September. She is doing quite well for her age but after several falls, she is now in a long term care facility.  My parents went through quite a time helping her select a long term care facility and I learned quite a bit from the process that they went through.   Choosing long term care facilities can be a very difficult thing to do and should only be done after careful thought that involves everyone involved.

choosing long term care facilities
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Two Types of Long Term Care Facilities

There are two basic types of long term care facilities.  When my Grandmother first fell, she spent time in an assisted living home. An Assisted living home is licensed and provides 24 hour non medical care. This is for the person who may need help dressing or bathing on their own but does not need additional medical care.  In this type of facility, she had her own small apartment but ate meals in a larger group area. She did not need to worry about cooking her own meals or doing lawn care or more strenuous household chores.

After my Grandmother fell for the second time, she needed extra medical attention. She developed diabetes and was occasionally forgetful.   She needed to have a nurse there to check up on her and monitor her sugar and make sure she was taking her medication. At this time, she was in a nursing home which does provided 24 hour skilled nursing care.

5 Tips for Choosing Long Term Care Facilities

  • Find out if your physician is on staff at the facility you are considering. Not all physicians practice in every long term care facility. If you place someone in a long term care facility that their physician is not on staff for, they will have a different physician. 
  • See what religious organizations have chapels in which facilities.  Many facilities have small inter-faith chapels as part of their program. If you want a specific religion, you may need to search more.
  • Consider the location.  Make sure that it will be easy for friends and family members to visit regularly.
  • Look for a facility that has activities. Check the activities calendar and talk to the person in charge of planning activities.  Ask about what types of activities exist and what options there are for transportation.
  • Figure out the costs. Find out not only what the cost of care is but also whether it’s eligible for Medicare insurance coverage. Find out exactly what the costs cover and what extra added costs exist for things you may not have considered.

Planning ahead for long term care is important.  It is definitely a large expense and not everything may be covered by what you have in savings. This article titled Long Term Care is Unaffordable was a very interesting read.

This post on tips for choosing long term care facilities has been sourced by Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

13 thoughts on “5 Tips for Choosing Long Term Care Facilities”

  1. It is so important to make sure that a long care facility has a good place that is clean and the workers are nice and they take care of the elderly people by making sure that they get their medicines and what other things that they need. 
  2. That is  a great list!  You should also check the rating on the county website if it is available and if possible have lunch or dinner there.  You would be surprised how awful the food is at some of these places and it truly does contribute to their mental health when they have good meals.  My mom has been in a nursing home for a few years and the first place was horrible all around (not just the food) so I found her a better place and the meals and her mood were much better!
  3. We are seeing these decisions being made with my grandparents right now. I think the most valuable one we have seen is being close by. It makes it much easier to stop in to see them and they really need that.
  4. We've gone through this process with both of my grandparents - it is hard, but also an important topic to discuss. Thank you for bringing it up and giving some good tips.
  5. It's so weird to think that I'll have to make these kinds of decisions, but I guess the time for it is approaching. I don't really know much about the options, so thanks for sharing this information.
  6. My grandma (turning 90 next year) lives in a senior complex where they all have their own unit, kitchens etc. plus common areas for meals, games and more. She loves it! She is quite the social butterfly now.
  7. My great grandmother lived alone until she was about 85 or so. She was in a nursing home the last few years of her life. Her daughter, my grandmother, never lived in any facility at all.  My husband's grandmother, on the other hand, lived in an assisted living facility until her death. It was very nice. They had a wonderful staff, three meals a day (I ate there a few times), and many scheduled activities. They even had a fitness center and a beauty parlor. I remember volunteering in a nursing home before high school and I saw such a difference in the residents.  My mother-in-law knew a lot of the residents by name and it seemed more like a family than staff and patients.

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