This is Part Two of our Blog post regarding Choosing the Right Care Facility for Your Loved One. We posted Part One on December 17th.
We asked Abby Durr of SilverAge, LLC in Washington state, five questions about important aspects to consider when choosing a care facility for your loved one. The last three questions are below and Abby has given us some valuable tools to consider when making these difficult and emotion-filled decisions.
3) What tips can you give our readers as to how to discuss this topic with their loved one?
Start the conversation early! Remember it’s a process! Don’t expect to solve everything with one conversation. Family meetings rarely work. Individual conversations with key family members tend to be more productive. Make sure everyone has a voice and their voice is heard. Listen, listen listen to your loved one and ask good open ended questions. Put yourself in their shoes and realize that their biggest present task is to leave their legacy. During the whole transition be sensitive to this and help them preserve their dignity. Involve the person who needs care to be a part of the decision as much as possible, it is their life after all. Go look at a place before you ever have to move. Talk hypothetically through potential scenarios and come up with a plan or multiple plans. Enlist the help of a professional geriatric care manager or your loved one’s MD if it is too challenging for you to make progress on your own.
4) Best websites to research facilities?
For the most complete list of nursing homes, assisted living communities and adult family homes and access to any enforcement letters they may hold Department of social health services, dshs.wa.gov is the best website.
Medicare.gov, Nursing Home Compare: http://www.medicare.gov/NursingHomeCompare/search.aspx?bhcp=1 useful for looking at the track record of a nursing home.
5) Touring facilities with a referral service such as yours… Benefits?
1.A good referral professional will carefully assessing your loved one’s holistic needs (physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual etc.) and help you determine the type of facilities most likely to meet their needs. Many referral professionals will do this evaluation on site where ever you loved one is staying.
2.Referral professionals understand the benefits of each type of facility and will provide education about things such as the level of care provided and the methods of payment accepted at each type.
3.If an agency has been in business for a few years, they will have a database of information on hundreds of local providers. This database will store valuable information about facilities that may not be public knowledge, such as instances when a facility was not able to meet someone’s needs and they had to move out for a higher level of care. This can help people avoid some of the places with poor track records, under staffing, etc.
4.Working with an agency may help you find your best options faster than you could find them on your own.
5.Referral services can provide transportation and coordinate tours.
6.Many referral professional accompany people on tours and help them ask important questions and track information.
7.If you are not interested in a place after taking a tour a referral agency can let the place know so you don’t have to. If you are a busy person having the referral agency field these kinds of calls from housing providers can be very valuable.
1.After a move a good referral professional will follow up with you and act as your loved one’s ongoing advocate.
2.Referral professionals can put you in touch with other resources such as elder law attorney’s, movers etc.
3.Most referral agencies are paid by housing providers and therefore no cost to you.
Abby Durr, CSA
Housing and Care Specialist
Silver Age LLC
1693 NE Juneberry ST
Issaquah, WA 98029
Thank you again to Abby for her time in answering these important questions and for the time she takes for all of her clients and their families during this process of finding a care facility for a loved one. Abby / SilverAge LLC and other referral companies like hers can make these decisions and the process much less stressful for families. We highly recommend using an agency like this, if one is available in your area. If you are unable to find one, please let us know and we will be happy to research further for you.
An additional thought I’d like to cover is to be sure and ask the lead nurse or Staffing Manager what their back-up plan is when caregivers do not show up for work? The last thing you want is to have no caregivers available for their residents. As Abby stated in Part One of this Blog post… “It all starts at the top”. She is absolutely right. When caregivers are caught in the crossfire of a poorly planned back-up or no back-up plan at all, the results can be devastating for the residents and the employees as well. There should be a proven system in place at the care facility that does not put the safety of it’s residents at risk.
The piece of mind in knowing that you have done your “due diligence” and covered all the bases possible is well worth the extra step!
We are here to help! Contact our Health Information Concierge at WeCare@EndBrainCancer.com or via our toll free number at 800-574-5703.