Your 3 Step Plan in Choosing the right Facility
When looking for a facility for your mom, dad or a loved one, it’s important to have a process of selecting the right facility. It seems simple and straightforward enough to choose the best community for your loved one, but straightforward it is not especially when searching for a facility providing care for short term memory loss, Alzheimer’s or Dementia care services.
Oftentimes we get caught up wanting to do the best for our loved ones that we look for the first facility that may have fancy Chandeliers and it can really feel like a great place. Chandeliers are great and the elegant appeal is nice but that should not be that focal point but one element of consideration.
There is a 3 step process in selecting the right facility.
First and foremost, Care.
Secondly, the Cost and Affordability.
Thirdly, the Location the Chandeliers and Amenities.
Step 1: Care
When looking for a facility for your mom or dad it’s important to focus on the care needed. How do you know the right type of care. Start with care needs. Does mom need care assistance with toileting, dressing, showering, eating assistance. Does mom have short term memory or Dementia. These questions help you determine truly the care that mom needs. We need to focus on the care mom needs versus how pretty the facility is, although that is a consideration as well.
Some facilities can provide a resort like environment with lovely chandeliers and an appealing visual environment, however the care provided may be more focused on high functioning residents. If your loved one needs more care then the fancy chandelier facility may not be the best facility to care for your loved one.
When touring take a look at the type of residents in facility. If all the residents are walking around and taking care of most of their own needs then chances are that the facility provides care for higher functioning residents. When residents need little care then most likely the staff are trained in the care flow of minimal care needs. In other words staff may not be highly trained in providing extensive care on a daily basis.
Staff may not be properly trained on how to care for residents with moderate to advanced short term memory loss or Dementia. They may provide memory care but the focus might be on the early onset of memory loss. Other facilities are more suitable for resident care for moderate to advanced memory loss. If your loved one needs eating assistance you must realistically ask yourself, is this facility able to help with eating assistance such as individual spoon feeding if needed. Can the facility handle incontinence care where mom is changed frequently and not laying in urine all the time. Each facility has is strengths. Look past the fancy and focus on the care.
Ask during the tour what types of residents they have mostly. What types of care they offer. Also note that you will probably see the higher functioning residents out and about the community while those who need more care may be in their rooms. It’s always a good idea to tour a few different size facilities to get a feel for how the staff to patient ratio is.
Sure a small community will generally not have the glamour of the fancy chandeliers but generally are able to provide more one on one care for those with moderate to advanced stages of Short Term Memory Loss or Dementia. A quick rule of thumb is that larger communities are a good fit high functional resident that can enjoy the lovely chandeliers and surrounding. Small communities those with 16 or fewer residents are better for those with Short Term Memory Loss or Dementia.
Step 2: Cost and Affordability
Now that you have determined perhaps that mom needs a bit more care with her activities of daily living, a small facility might just be the care she needs. Make a list of three communities. List as A, B, C from first favorite, second and third favorite community. Now that you determined selected three communities that are able to care for her needs best it’s time to look at cost and affordability.
The most important cost would be the normal month to month rent. From the three communities that you may have selected as good options for mom, have the facilities give you an exact monthly cost including and miscellaneous charges listed clearly. Some additional charges may be beauty services like hair styling and curling, perms and such. Additional charges may be television service and or telephone services.
Most facilities will assess a move in charge ranging from $500-2500 or more. This fee is normally associated with the cost of setting up initial patient files and charts as well as go towards common ground amenities. While this charge is a one-time fee it can get rather large in some communities.
Deposits are another cost. Some facilities do not charge a deposit other than the move in fee. Most however do charge a deposit just as you would be charged in an apartment complex. This deposit gets refunded once a resident moves out just like an apartment complex.
By now you should have a good feeling for what the rates and charges are at the communities that you have toured. That is why it’s best to list an A, B and C next to the best community able to provide the best quality of care. You compare your favorite community selected with the cost. A little extra cost is sometimes worth that superb quality. However is you liked community A and B almost the same it may not be worth paying too much more on a monthly basis.
Step 3: Location the Chandeliers and Amenities
The third step in selecting the perfect community for your mom is by its location and feeling of the atmosphere and amenities. There are two ways of looking at location. A community that is near or on your way to or from work. A location that is in your usual work route. The other location consideration is to be near a family member or in the middle between multiple family members.
Most people are able to drive or have someone drive them to visit their loved ones. While location is important it should not take priority over quality care and cost. If care is poor what point is there having the community around the corner. If cost is not affordable what is the point of having the community just down the street. It’s nice to have the community near your work route or home but that really should be after Care and Cost considerations.
Some communities have lovely chandeliers as you walk in or some other really impressive real estate features. Remember hotels are nice but they don’t provide care. Only after you determine if the fancy chandelier community can provide the care truly needed and cost is affordable do you look at the amenities.
Amenities are important no doubt. It’s great to have a library or a piano in the entry way of a community. The five star hotel feel does make you feel proud to have mom there, but what about the care. If the facility can also provide top quality care then the fancy amenities are a great bonus. If you select the wrong facility you will find out quickly that the chandeliers and piano will do nothing to care for your mom or to keep mom from being soaked all the time.
What the whole point here is to be cautious to not get caught up on the fancy real estate and fanciness and forgetting about the care.
There are plenty of communities that provide stellar care and have great amenities. The idea is to not get wrapped up in focusing in on what mom used to like ten years ago if mom has Short Term Memory Loss or Dementia. It’s just more important to focus on her care then the bells and whistles of the amenities.
Summing it all up
No doubt looking for the best community for mom or a loved one can be overwhelming at first. You want to do the best for mom that’s for sure. Your goal needs to be Care, Care, Care.
A great tip in determining that quality of care is to see Reviews. Check out the facilities Testimonials. Look for authentic reviews. A families own experience and testimonial is worth more than any sales brochure.
For more information about Pipestone Place Assisted Living in San Antonio, TX or to take a tour, call Manager Samuel Vesa today (210) 718-0211
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