How to Choose an Assisted Living or Long Term Care Facility

Whether it be a rehabilitation facility, long term care nursing facility or assisted living community, the decision to find the right facility can be overwhelming and seem a bit daunting. There are many different providers here in our shore community which have their own specialties and benefits. Choosing a facility is a highly personal decision and one that is of the utmost importance to you or your loved one. A significant factor to consider is the amount of experience a facility has in caring for older adults and the longevity of its employees.

In order to begin to investigate into which facility would best meet your criteria, the ideal route is to visit them to see fist-hand how care is delivered. Below are a few helpful hints to assist you during your search:

  • Is the parking lot free of debris and the landscaping appears tended to?
  • Are you welcomed in a friendly and professional manner when entering the facility?
  • Does the staff appear helpful and eager to answer your questions?
  • Are the staff professionally dressed, smiling, and friendly?
  • Do the residents appear well cared for? Smiling? Wearing clean clothes? Are they engaged with the staff?
  • Do you hear or see activity programs underway? Bear in mind, certain times during the day are quieter than others such as early morning or after meals.
  • Look beyond just the furniture, does the facility appear clean and odor free?
  • What is the staff-to-resident staffing ratio?

Additionally, ask to view their State Survey results which are available at the facility. If you are touring during meal time, feel free to ask to taste what is on the menu. Many facilities will be accommodating. You may also want to ask for a weekly menu and/or activities calendar to ensure that the facility is compatible with your needs and interests. Inquire about any accreditations or special certifications. Some facilities are JCAHO accredited which means they have gone above and beyond the minimum state regulations to provide care. Some assisted livings have what is known as an Advanced Standing with the NJ Department of Health. Facilities receive the designation of Advanced Standing when the Health Care Association of New Jersey Foundation (HCANJF) verifies that the facility has satisfied all state licensing regulations and met quality benchmarks. Also, ask to speak with someone from the facility’s management team such as the Administrator or Director of Nursing to get a sense of what their philosophy is when caring for older adults. Make sure that all of your questions and concerns are addressed during your visit.

The most important advice is to trust your instincts. You will know when you have found the right match.

 

Article submitted by Dawn Wighton from Absecon Manor and Woodview Estates Assisted Living owned by DePaul Healthcare since 1986. For over 30 years, the choice people trust. Experience the DePaul Difference.

For more information please call (609) 605-6656.