Making the Choice – Part 2 – Touring Facilities

Part 2 – Questions to ask and what to look for touring potential facilities.

Now that Mom or Dad’s needs have been assessed and the budget has been determined, it is time to select a few facilities to tour. It is important to have a set of questions to ask and specifics to look for while on site.  Bringing along a list is very helpful in the search process, it will provide a record of pros and cons for each facility and will hopefully clarify the decision-making.

Checklist for Visiting Long-Term Care Facilities

  • Is the home clean, well maintained and free of odour?
  • Are there recreation areas available such as a library, lounge or garden?
  • Is the neighbourhood close to family and friends?
  • Does the facility and its surroundings feel safe?
  • Is the facility close to services which are important to the senior?
  • Talk with staff. Are they friendly and forthcoming with answers to questions?
  • Does the staff treat residents with respect and kindness?
  • Speak with other residents. Are they happy with the facility and the care they receive?
  • Can the residents brings furnishings from home?
  • Are phone, cable and hydro included in the monthly fee?
  • Arrange to have a meal in the dining room. Is the food nutritious and appealing?
  • Is help available getting to and from the dining room? Is there help if needed with eating?
  • How is bathing managed?
  • Will the senior’s doctor be able to visit the facility or is there an in-house physician?
  • Ask if the facility belongs to an accredited association.

Talk with family and friends about their experiences with long-term care in the community where the senior plans to live. Don’t disregard older facilities which may not be as opulent as newer homes. Ask about staff turnover. A staff that is well trained and happy in their job means more to an elderly resident than granite floors and grand pianos. There is a wide range of accommodations, think about what setting would make your loved-one feel most comfortable, safe and happy.

Next –  Part 3 –  Preparing for the move