The Power of a Plan
Who’s the planner in your family? Is the vacation planned six months in advance, right down to purchasing the tickets in advance for the theme park? How about planning for retirement, looking at various options and even locations? Planning, as most people have discovered, can remove a great deal of stress and allow you to make enjoyable choices.
When it comes to long-term care, planning can also make your life much simpler. Granted, it’s a much tougher topic than planning a vacation, but the principles apply. If you want to go to Tucson to the art galleries and suddenly find yourself in Sandusky, Ohio, riding the roller coaster, you won’t be happy. Planning makes the difference!
Finding the Right Elder Care Community
Elim Care has great options for seniors in a number of communities. The best time to take a look around a long term care campus is before someone actually needs services-then you’re ready in the event of a health incident.
Start by asking friends and family about places they like. Find out why they enjoy either visiting or living in those facilities. Then go out to the Medicare website and click on the “compare nursing homes” link to see how each of the options rank. When you’ve narrowed down the list to about three or four, plan to visit each facility personally. Take a handy checklist of questions with you, so you remember to ask the social worker the same questions at each place. Some important questions to ask include:
- What levels of care do they offer? Do they offer rehabilitation therapy, skilled nursing, dementia or Alzheimer’s units?
- Are there multiple levels of care on the same campus, so if someone needs to change their level of care, it’s available?
- Is the facility close to friends and family for handy visiting?
- Look and sniff. Are the current residents well-dressed and clean? Is the facility comfortable, clean and tidy or are there nasty odors, etc.
- Look and see. How do the residents and staff interact? Is the tone of voice respectful, caring, warm? How many residents are assigned to one nurse aide and how much one-to-one time is given to the residents?
- What kind of staff turnover does the facility have? Is there a full-time registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day?
- What about activities? Just because someone lives in a long-term care facility, the interest in fun does not go away! What makes life interesting and enjoyable for residents in the facility you’re touring? Look at the activity calendar and see what piques your interest, from chapel services to gardening, baking to singing with the children.
- Look at the residents’ rooms. Are they personally decorated, are there windows?
- Food is a key component to happiness. Sample the dining options. Take a look at menus, and ask about staff assistance for residents who need help. Are snacks readily available?
- Safety is critical, so ask about their emergency plans, if they give flu shots and what their state surveyors said during their last visit.
Choosing any kind of care for a loved one is a major decision. When considering long-term care options, some advance planning can reduce the stress and ensure that you’re making wise decisions. At Elim Care, we welcome questions because we know your goal is to make the best choice. To learn more, please call (952)259-4500.