10 Things to Remember When Choosing a Care Home for Your Loved One

Express, a UK news source, recently published a very helpful guide for anyone facing the challenge of moving their loved one into an elderly care home. Although it’s from the UK, where there are different policies and procedures for elderly care, it offers advice valuable to anyone. Anywhere you go, at any point in time, caring for a loved one is a rollercoaster of emotion, including moments of guilt and attacks of anxiety.

Here is a summary of the guide, with a few points of our own added. To see the orginial, formulated by elderly advocate and founder of myageingparent.com, Deborah Stone, visit Express.com:

1- Take your time (or as much as you can)!:

Never rush when choosing a home. Consider how much time you would take in choosing your own home. Deciding on a home for your loved one is equally as important, but even more complicated–you have to consider the quality of care and degree of attention that will be provided.

2- Choose a home that will meet your loved one’s specific needs:

Everybody is different. Depending on their health, age, and previous medical history, your loved one may need more or less attention. Make sure you are choosing a home that will meet their required needs.

3-Talk to your parent:

If possible, communicating to your parent is vital to choosing the right home and keeping things positive. A move into a new home is a big change for everyone–emotionally, physically, and financially. Keep communication about the move and the wishes of your loved one open and constant.

4-Decide carefully where the home should be:

Don’t forget to consider the neighborhood and location of the home. How long will it take you to get there? Is it near a hospital, market, or small town? Is it in a safe neighborhood? These are all important factors to consider.

5-What kind of access do you need?:

In the U.S., it is illegal for buildings to lack access for disabled persons. Make sure your building has all necessary points of access and use, such as an elevator or ramp.

6-What about the bathroom?:

Bathroom access is a both vital and personal. Don’t forget to check out the bathroom in every home you consider. Is it clean, accessible, and private? Make sure that your loved one’s needs will be met in this regard.

7-How big is the home?:

Certain homes are more spacious and have more residents. Consider if this will benefit your loved one or cause them stress. They may prefer a quieter setting.

8-Ask what is important to your loved one:

Discuss interests and concerns with your loved one, such as whether they would like an outdoor garden or a library. Other concerns may be dietary or if they can bring their pet with them to the home. Everyhome is different, try to find the best fit for their interests and needs.

9-Research costs:

Does the cost of the home translate into care and quality, and can you or your loved one afford? Always consider if the price you are paying is fair, and then if you will be able to afford it. Take your time with this consideration and be vigilant–certain homes can put on a good face when you first meet them.  Don’t take your first impression or their Medicare rating for granted (link to previous blog).

10-Plan ahead.

Anticipate long term costs and living plans so that you are not caught by surprise with any changes. Make sure the administration and human relations director of the home are very clear regarding their policies.

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