Your parent or elderly loved one needs to be in an environment where they can receive another level of professional care than they’re getting now. But, as you do your research and begin touring assisted living or nursing care facilities in your community, you realize something very quickly.
Not all senior care facilities are created equal. But how do you know for sure which one is the best fit for your loved one’s needs?
The first thing to consider, of course, is whether the senior care facility meets all the requirements–location, financial/insurance considerations, level of care, etc.
But, if those boxes are checked, how do you begin the winnowing process from there?
Here are three tips to keep in mind as you tour senior care facilities.
On old sitcoms, they’d pit an exceptionally fastidious person with one who might define their sense of style as something closer to “sloppy.” At some point in the narrative, the messier of the two is made to clean a room. Upon finishing, the neater member of the odd couple would walk around the room, don a white glove, and run a brilliant finger over an isolated stretch of mantle or along the bottom of the coffee table. They’re checking to see how thorough a job was done.
That’s an extreme example, but relevant. During your tour, while you shouldn’t go barging into places you don’t belong, observe the little things. Are things kept clean? Is the air generally fresh? Do they take care of the small things like cracks in the corners, spots on the plates, or the general tidiness of the nurse’s scrubs? If they pay attention to the small things, then you’ll know they are also far more likely to do what’s necessary when taking care of your loved one.
This seems simple enough, but it’s an important point: do the residents look happy? Do they look like they are well taken care of? Of course, it would be too much to ask if every resident was walking or wheeling around with a big smile on their face at all times. But, you can get a sense of things by observing the general demeanor and behavior of those who are already living in an environment where you’re considering placing your loved one. If they don’t look like they want to be there, that might be a clue you want to notice–and retain for the future.
No matter what the tour guide or c-level administrators of a senior care facility say, you’ll get a better sense of the place by pulling a nurse or staff aid aside and asking what life is like inside. A good question to ask is, would you put your grandma here? Most of the time, the answers you’ll get will be authentic and honest.
Taking a tour is a critical part of deciding on a senior care environment for your parent or loved one. And utilizing these three tips should give you a good start on making the final decision and ensuring they’re well-taken care of, both now and into the future.