Mt. Olive Seniors by Dixie Kuykendall

The North Jefferson News

Placing a relative in a long term care facility is a stressful process, not only for your loved one, but also for you and your family. While the process may seem overwhelming, some important basic knowledge will help your though the facility selection process.

All facilities are not created equal. Some basic issues to consider when exploring your options include:

• Who will pay for long term care services?

• Does the facility accept Medicare and Medicaid?

• Will a Medicare/

Medicaid bed be available after personal funds are depleted?

• Does the facility require that assets be assigned or held in escrow (sometimes called a Life-Care contract)?

• Is the location convenient for family and friends?

• Are specialized services offered for certain disabilities (like Alzheimer’s disease)?

• Are hospice services available?

Beyond the basics

• Get references from people who have a knowledge of the facility

• Visit the facility – unscheduled. Observe the interaction between staff and residents.

• Check the licensing and accreditation status of the facility. Also, review the last state survey. This should be visible in the facility. If not, ask for it.

• Look at the facility’s appearance and design. Does it have a welcoming feel? Is it clean? Are there outdoor areas for residents to enjoy? Is parking available? Are safety and security measures in place?

• Check out the attitude of staff. Does staff make the facility warm and inviting? Does the staff take the time to answer question, hear complaints and resolve problems?

• Examine the bedrooms and bathrooms. Does each bedroom have a window? Are the bathrooms clean, safe, convenient and handicap accessible? Is there a comfortable chair for every resident?

• Inspect the dining facilities. Is the dining room comfortable and is the food tasty and attractively served?

• Ask about the offerings for resident activities. What sort of planned activities are available? Can residents pursue their hobbies? Are outside trips planned?

• Understand resident care services. Is there an arrangement in place with local hospital for transport and care, if necessary? Are physical and occupational therapy available?

• Understand resident rights. Does the facility have a written description of the residents’ rights and responsibilities and is it available for family review? Does the facility respect resident’s privacy?

• Understand the cost structure. Are more services covered in the basic daily rate? If not, is a list of non-covered services available? What are the policies concerning payment source?

If you would like more information, feel free to contact me at 631-0049 or e-mail

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