It may seem like an overwhelming process when choosing a facility for you or your loved one, having good information can help make the process a little easier. Some research and some of your time will be involved in making an informed decision.
When choosing a facility, it is important to consider your unique needs, preferences and desires.
Begin by researching what facilities are available in your community.
Once you have your list of facilities, you will need to narrow your selection. Ask yourself some
questions, such as:
What really matters to my loved one(s) or me?
- The location?
- The size?
- The reputation?
- It's ability to meet current and future healthcare needs?
- Special programs offered?
- The urgency for placement?
- Is the building clean, inviting and well maintained?
- Is the atmosphere welcoming, with friendly, courteous staff?
- Do caregivers show respect and concern for residents and family members?
- Is there a common area for socializing, arts and crafts and other activities?
- Are there special areas for private visits?
- What group and individual activities and programs are available?
- Are religious services held on the premises?
- What are the meals like? Ask about dining procedures and policies on special dining or menu requests.
- What about safety and security features?
- What opportunities do resident have for personalizing the rooms?
- Are private telephone lines and TVs provided?
- Is the facility ready for specific conditions, such as terminal illnesses and Alzheimer's?
- What medical professionals are available nearby (dentists, optometrists, doctors, etc.)?
- How are prescriptions handled?
- What therapy services are offered?
- Are restraining devices used? When and why?
- Is the latest government survey report available for review?
- Does the facility have a quality improvement and assurance program?
Understand that every facility has a unique culture and surroundings. It is important to determine whether the environment is right for you or your family member. You can make this determination in the following ways:
- Talk to the residents and their families about their likes and dislikes.
- Ask for copies of sample menus, activity calendars and newsletters.
- Ask if you are able to sample a meal or participate in an activity at the facility.
- Look for bulletin boards that might have notes or reports from resident groups or documentation from an accrediting organization.