10 Tips for Finding the Right Facility for Your Loved One

By Eunice K. Neubauer, CSA

Find the Right Facility for Your Loved Ones Twin Cities MNFinding proper care and an uplifting setting for your loved one can be challenging for most people. There are so many things to consider—from medical care and proper nutrition to safety and social interaction. Here are 10 tips that we’ve found to be helpful in finding the right facility and knowing that you have made the perfect choice for those you love.

  1. Do you want this to be the last move? If so, can your loved one age comfortably and safely in this setting? Does the facility provide end of life care?
  2. A nursing home is not the only option. Today there are a lot of choices and not all facilities can provide the same level of care. Be sure to understand the differences. Ask questions.
  3. Does your loved one have memory loss? If so, they will need to have a diagnosis of dementia for a memory care facility to accept them. Many nursing homes do not accept people with dementia, especially if they have any behaviors or are prone to wander.
  4. Is your loved one heavy or obese? Be sure to understand the facility’s procedures and capability to safely accommodate and transfer people who are overweight.
  5. Typically, it requires a nurse to administer sliding scale insulin. If your loved one needs help with this in the evening, there will be fewer assisted living options that can do this. It may mean a nursing home, but not necessarily. Ask when RNs/LPNs are on site.
  6. Long-term care is very expensive and is not covered by health insurance or Medicare. If you have a long-term care insurance plan, make sure you know how and when it pays before you choose a facility.
  7. Does your loved one require a special diet? Some places have dieticians on site and some provide “mechanical soft” food and pureed food too. More people are gluten free today. Ask what they can accommodate.
  8. What happens if your loved one outlives their money? If you are concerned about this, make sure you find an option that accepts Medical Assistance. Do they require private payment for a length of time? In the Twin Cities, many places ask for two years of private payment before accepting Medical Assistance. Remember that your loved one needs to qualify for Medical Assistance based on their care needs as well.
  9. How strong is their activity program? This is especially important when looking for memory care. Make sure you look at their calendar and see that there are 5–7 activities listed—not just on week days but also on the weekends.
  10. Enlist an expert in your search. Placement and referral services like Choice Connections can help you narrow your search quickly while you focus on the care of your loved one. These services are often free when you start your search with them.

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