8 Mistakes Families Make When Looking For Senior Care
Chuck Bongiovanni, MSW, MBA, CSA
Searching for assisted living or residential care by yourself can be an eye opening experience for anyone especially when your loved one has special needs. Here are some mistakes to avoid when searching.
1. They take facilities operators at their word.
It’s a regrettable situation, but operators and marketers of assisted living centers are sometimes under considerable pressure to keep their facilities full. This can lead to misrepresenting the facts. For instance, some may say their staff is skilled at caring for dementia residents, when the truth is that they have very little such experience.
2. They make a choice because it seemed good for someone else.
Facilities differ greatly in their skills and amenities. A place that’s good for one person isn’t necessarily a good fit for another. Your friend’s mother can be doing well at her facility, but she may have needs much different than your loved one.
3. They choose by appearance alone
It is shockingly common for expensive facilities that look wonderful to be cited for violating regulations. So, beauty should not be your goal, the history of their care is.
4. They listen to the advice of experts in other fields
Your doctor or social worker is no doubt expert in what they do. But they don’t have time to research assisted care and nursing facilities. Often what they know is word-of-mouth. If you get a recommendation from them, ask how often they’ve visited and whether they’ve actually researched the facility’s state survey record.
5. They make their decision based on visiting only one facility.
When searching for assisted living it is easy to look at your first place and say “this is perfect”. However, if you only look at one facility, you have nothing to base your decision against. You should be looking at at least 3 facilities.
6. They make their decision based on pressure from the marketing personnel.
Some marketing representative have been trained in “pushing” you to choose their facility. You do not deserve any pressure at all during this difficult process.
7. They make their decision based on “guilt”.
Having to make this decision is difficult. Too many times families choose assisted living facilities that they would like, not necessarily a good decision for their loved one. For example, you may like that the facility as a pool table or a swimming pool, but your loved one may not care to play pool or go swimming. Choose a place that will be the best choice for you loved one, not just one that you like.
8. They Think that all the facilities are created equal.
All facilities were not created equal. Not all facilities can care for your mother or father. They may all hold the same license type, but they are all different. This is a big decision.
What You Can Do Now
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