ARTICLE: 5 Steps to Help Select a Long-Term Care Facility

5 Steps to Help Select a Long-Term Care Facility

The best time to begin to select a long-term care facility is before you need one. With the luxury of time, you can do more thorough research and establish a short list of facilities that will best suit the resident’s anticipated needs. When the time comes, you’ll have a short list of long-term care options to contact for availability. Whether you’re planning for your own future need or helping a loved one explore options, here are five steps to select a long-term care facility.

First, Pick the Best Location
Most people would prefer to stay close to the family home when possible. It’s ideal to be near established healthcare providers for uninterrupted care if the resident will only need basic care at the long-term care facility. But for some situations, moving to a location nearer to adult children and other family members may be more important. Start a list of potential long-term care facilities based on location or even a few potential locations.

Prepare a List of Needs
A list of needs will have two considerations: current needs and anticipated needs. From independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing to memory care, there are a variety of long-term care options. A progressive care facility will provide phased options to meet a resident’s evolving needs.

Create a list of the resident’s needs and determine which facilities within the chosen location can meet them. Will the resident be entirely independent and seeking a retirement apartment at first? Will the resident require simple assistance with day-to-day housekeeping or self-care? How about managing medications (which can be complex) or monitoring and treating an ongoing condition? Should the facility include dementia care for a current or anticipated need?

Determine the Budget
Where will the money come from for the long-term care? Does the resident have long-term care insurance? Will the resident qualify government assistance or Medicaid or veteran’s assistance? What is the resident’s monthly budget? Will other family members be contributing to the monthly cost? Once you’ve determined the budget, you can start moving the care facilities that fit it to the top of your list. Now it’s time to start visiting the top candidates.

Make a First-Hand Determination
Visiting a facility gives you the valuable opportunity to observe and make a truly informed decision. Does the facility look clean and tidy? Does the facility smell fresh? What is the staff-to-resident ration? Do all the residents look happy and well cared for? What amenities does the location offer? What kinds of outdoor spaces and activities are available to residents? Be sure to have a meal in the dining hall to assess the food. Are personal care services available on site such as hair care and foot care? Finally, check with your state’s health and human services department or to be sure the facility is licensed.

What Is the Feel of the Place?
As nice as the building itself and amenities may be, how do the people make you feel? How does the staff treat you as you tour the facility? How do the residents feel about their home? What are the people who plan and lead the social activities like? Do they offer regular outings that are of interest? Does the facility provide religious services on site? Is this a place that you or your loved one can feel at home?

With the research done, you’ll have a short list of long-term facilities that are well suited to you or your loved one’s needs and wishes. When it’s time to make the transition, you’ll have a few options to contact in hand. Change is hard, but when you’re able to research ahead of the need, you can relieve some of the stress involved in moving to a long-term facility.

Contact a New York Estate Planning Attorney
Like preparing in advance for long-term healthcare, estate planning is all about working to ease the road ahead for you and your loved ones. Call Roth Elder Law, PLLC today to schedule an initial meeting at 607-962-6162 or complete this intake form and we’ll be in touch.

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We at Roth Elder Law, PLLC, believe in providing services in a way that clients can easily understand and meaningfully participate in designing and maintaining their estate plan for their loved ones, as well as be assured that their plan will be administered according to their wishes.