The 4 Most Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A Care Center For Your Elderly Loved One

Apr 24, 2023 | Elder Law

If you have a loved one who is advancing in age, the time may soon come when they need more attention and care than you are able to provide them on your own. While it can be a difficult decision to make, living full-time in a care center may be in their best interest. Since this facility will become their full-time residence, you shouldn’t choose before you have fully researched each potential option and considered both the pros and cons. In addition, you may need to evaluate whether or not your loved one will still be capable of handling their legal and financial affairs themselves after the transition is made.

In this blog, you’ll learn what the different types of care centers are, as well as the 4 most important factors to consider when choosing where your loved one will end up. We’ll also discuss your options when it comes to carrying out legal affairs on their behalf. 

Types Of Care Centers

While many of us tend to think only of nursing homes, there are actually many different types of care centers for older individuals that serve various purposes. They include:

  • Retirement communities – these are usually residential communities or housing complexes designed for older adults who are able to live independently but want to take advantage of the social activities that are provided there
  • Continuous care retirement community – a retirement community with various levels of care (such as independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care) that individuals can move between as needed
  • Independent living facilities – arrangements designed for those who can still live on their own and perform most daily activities, but want access to some other services
  • Assisted living facilities – arrangements for those who have difficulty performing daily activities and want to continue living independently with regular assistance
  • Nursing home facilities – a permanent residence for those that can no longer live on their own or perform daily activities 

Chances are, you have an idea what type of facility your loved one needs to be in. If you have a constant fear of them falling or being in dangerous conditions because of illness or advanced age, they will most likely need the continuous care and supervision that can only be provided in an assisted living or nursing home facility. 

You may be assisting your loved one in choosing a facility, or you may be making the decision for them. Either way, it will be essential for you to visit each and every facility – possibly even more than once – during your search. Here are 5 crucial things you’ll want to consider when visiting the potential candidates and making the final decision:

  1. Location And Accessibility

Most obviously, the location of the facility will be the first thing you consider. Depending on where you live, you may be limited in the choices that are available, but it is possible to choose a place that is too far away. If you are already dreading making a 3-hour drive just to visit and explore, you will likely not want to make regular trips there, either. It is important that you, other relatives, and close friends are able to visit your loved one often. In addition, the location is important to consider when determining the level of accessibility to your loved one’s regular doctors and specialists who are familiar to them. 

  1.  Quality Of Care And Staff

The factor that will likely be at the center of your decision will be the quality of the care and staff at the facility. It is everyone’s hope that their elderly loved one will be treated with the utmost attention, but the fact is, not every facility is a good one. The first step you can take to get information is reading reviews online or asking someone who has their own experience. 

You won’t be able to get an answer to every single question you have about the facility. But in your visit, there are a few red flags you can look out for that usually point to lackluster quality:

  • The residents look unkempt
  • There are no outdoor activities
  • The staff speaks negatively to or about residents
  • The food quality is poor
  • The staff are rude or dismissive
  • The staff seem to lack critical knowledge
  • There is no evidence of privacy
  • Residents seem unhappy, agitated, or confused
  • And more!
  1. Safety And Cleanliness

Similarly, the level of safety at the facility should be your priority. This includes sanitation, as a lack of cleanliness can lead to biohazards which are just as dangerous. Here are some red flags to pay attention to in your visit of the facility:

  • The buildings seem dilapidated 
  • The furniture or rooms are dirty
  • There are strong odors of urine or feces
  • The conditions seem unsafe
  • The lighting is poor
  • The staff practice poor hygiene 
  • They are understaffed
  • And more!
  1. Services And Amenities

Even though it might not be your #1 priority, you should still have a desire for your loved one to be in a place where they have a range of activities and services at their disposal. You’ll want to consider:

  • Dining options 
  • Housekeeping, laundry, and maintenance 
  • Security
  • Enriching activities
  • On-site amenities
  • And more!

What You Can Do If Your Loved One Can No Longer Carry Out Necessary Legal Obligations

Not everyone who enters into a care facility needs someone on the outside acting in their stead, but many do. One way to address this need is by seeking an experienced estate planning lawyer to establish power of attorney (POA). With it, you will be able to carry out any legal business for your loved one that they may not be able to handle in their care facility. There are many different types of POA, such as:

  • Durable 
  • Non-durable
  • Springing
  • General 
  • Limited 
  • Medical 
  • Financial 
  • Military 

Daly Law Offices Can Help You And Your Loved One Prepare For The Future, Even If It Is Uncertain

If you’ve recently had to make the difficult decision to place your elderly family member in a care center, we understand the overwhelming emotions you’re going through. Our lead attorney, Joshua N. Daly, can assist you with any legal affairs you or your loved one need to get in order, so that the transition may be as smooth as possible. Call today to schedule your free consultation where we can discuss all of your options. 

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