If you determine it’s time for assisted living of some kind, you will need to assess how much care is needed. A physician’s exam and counseling can help with this assessment. Once the level of care is decided, you can begin the process of choosing a facility that will fit your situation.

The level of care needed will also help you determine the type of care facility you will need to research more thoroughly

How do I know when it is time to consider finding a facility for an aging family member?

  • If the individual is currently living alone, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so safely while meeting daily needs such as eating.
  • If the individual is currently receiving informal care given by you or another family member.
  • If the individual is currently receiving in-home care.

What are the different types of long-term care facilities?

  • Independent Living
  • Assisted Living
  • Supportive Living
  • Board and Care Home
  • Nursing Home
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia Unit
  • Memory Care

Pay sources for nursing homes:

  • Medicare – following a hospital stay of 3 days or more
  • Medicaid – for people who meet low income and asset/resource eligibility requirements
  • Private Pay – over time may become eligible for Medicaid if enough assets are “spent-down” or depleted
  • Medigap/Supplemental Insurance
  • Long-term Care Insurance

What should we look for in the facility itself?

  • Is the environment well-decorated and homelike?
  • Does the lobby have comfortable furniture?
  • Are residents occupying the lobby?
  • Are the hallways decorated?
  • Is there a daily activity calendar posted for residents to see?
  • Do the residents’ rooms display personal belongings?
  • What furniture comes with the room?

Does the building and areas look clean?

  • Is the facility odor free? Does it remain that way throughout the entire tour of the facility?
  • Do you see spills on the floor that have not been cleaned up?
  • Are the bed linens free of soil or stains?
  • Do the residents’ bathroom and shower areas look clean?
  • Are the residents’ rooms reasonably neat and clean?
  • Do they look “lived in” and a place where activity goes on?

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