When it comes to choosing a long term care facility, whether for yourself or a loved one, the decision can be difficult. It’s often challenging to know what to ask and where to pick, and the decision shouldn’t be made lightly.
We’ve compiled a list of eight questions to ask before choosing a long term care facility to make the struggle of choosing a skilled nursing facility easier to bear.
1. What are the staffing ratios?
Staffing ratios are a serious matter when it comes to choosing any skilled nursing facility. You need confidence in knowing that the staff isn’t stretched so thin that they won’t be able to attend to you or your loved one’s needs when they arise. Ensuring the extended care center you’re examining has more staff to handle the needs of the facility is key.
2. What are the inspection ratings?
This question is of utmost importance as it gives you an understanding of how the skilled nursing facility operates on a daily basis. Every year, nursing facilities are inspected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and put under rigorous examination to ensure they are properly rated according to the care they provide. Their rating reflects this exam, and it’s a number you don’t want to take lightly. Take a look at the top rated nursing homes from U.S. News & World Report.
3. What services are offered?
Not everyone needs a long term care facility. Some might simply need a short term care facility, others might be in search of Alzheimer’s care, and some might be looking for a rehabilitation center following a health event or procedure. Knowing the different services offered at a skilled nursing facility gives you a better idea should other needs present themselves down the road.
4. Are Medicare and/or Medicaid accepted?
Whether you’re in a position to need it or not, you should know the answer to this question. There may come a point in time that money runs out, and you’re unable to afford the long term care being received. Knowing beforehand if the option to utilize Medicare and/or Medicaid is or isn’t there could make a big difference for you down the road.
5. Are the care plans individualized?
Just like in everyday life, no two people are the same. Much in the same manner, no two people’s care plans will be the same either. Look for a long term care facility that focuses on providing individualized care plans so that you or your loved one can get the care you need and deserve.
6. Is there a RN available at all times?
What happens when you or your loved one needs attentive care in the middle of the night? Will a registered nurse be available? Or will they be forced to wait until the next shift arrives, or worse, be delivered care by someone unqualified? Make sure the skilled nursing facility has a RN on-site 24/7.
7. What kind of activities are available?
It’s important that you or your loved one stays active even when residing at a long term care facility. Find out what activities are scheduled, how often they occur, and if any are open to family members. Knowing that you can join in the fun with your loved one will be an extra plus for both you and them.
8. Are personal belongings allowed?
Making the transition from home to a skilled nursing facility can be a challenging one. Often times, the comfort of having something from home can make it easier. Find out if personal belongings are allowed in resident rooms of the extended care center you’re checking out.
For more info, take a look at this comprehensive checklist from Medicare of things to think about and look for when choosing a long term care facility.
If you’re looking for a place that fits all of the above and more, stop by Elmhurst Extended Care Center. We offer Alzheimer’s care, a rehabilitation center, long term care, and so much more!