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Top Ten Tips for Selecting a Retirement or Long-Term Care Home for Your Aging Relative
Source: The Care Guide
As part of an effort to educate the public, de-mystify the seniors’
care industry and help seniors and their families make informed decisions for
their future, The Care Guide and its industry partners present Open Doors an annual awareness campaign that aims to help seniors' and their families better understand the
seniors' housing options available to them, and affords the public a
welcoming opportunity to connect with the fine homes and residences in
“Selecting a retirement residence or long-term care home for your aging
relative can present challenges because the variety of housing options available
can cause confusion,” said Derek Mercey, Vice President, The Care Guide. “I am
excited about Open Doors because it is a day of education, awareness and
community. Visitors will see firsthand what today's retirement residences and
long-term care homes offer and how homes have changed drastically in the past
several years eclipsing their ideas about what a residence is and looks like.”
Finding the right residence is as individual as you are – it’s where you
or your loved one will make a home, make new friends and live life to the
fullest. There are some basic steps that should be taken in order to ensure that
the home fits the individual. When attending Open Doors, The Care Guide
recommends keeping these ten considerations in mind:
- Define your requirements and distinguish
between wants and needs. Do you need a residence - or home health care
services? Find a free assessment tool to help you with the answer.
- Where should the residence be located?
Make sure it is proximate to friends and family; visitors are very important! Is
urban or suburban preferred, how will the resident be transported to and from
family events, and so on.
- What is the demeanour of people currently at
the home? Take the time to speak with residents. Visit at different times
and on different days during the week. Schedule a visit during the weekend and
another on the weekend. Are residents involved in activities or are they
spending hours by the television?
- How much can you afford to spend? Cost
varies depending on the type of provider. Independent/supported living services
are generally privately owned, where as some assisted living and long-term care
homes may be subsidized by government programs. There may be wide variances in
budget - and availability. Find out what is included - and what is considered an
- Review the home's latest inspection
report. What are the provisions for safety and ease of use? Are there
sufficient elevators? How are dangerous substances and medications kept out of
reach from residents? Is the home easy to navigate? Is it well lit? Are there
sufficient bathing facilities? Are washrooms easily accessible?
- What is the demeanour of residence employees
and are they certified? Are they happy and well-paid? Ask staff how they
feel about working at the home, and ask residents about the staff. Find out
about certification and medical training, number of medical personnel on staff.
Is the home adequately staffed during off-hours or on the weekends?
- Tour the residence's kitchen and ask to
review menus. Does the home provide well-balanced meals? Will they
accommodate those with special dietary requirements? Ask about feeding
assistance if your relative requires it.
- What type of activities does the residence
run? Do they provide additional programs through communities and volunteer
organizations to encourage sociability and satisfaction among residents? Are
suggestions and recommendations welcome and followed-up on?
- What type of amenities does the home
offer? Some residences offer additional amenities such as in-room
televisions and music systems, private suites with carpeting and drapery, which
can be filled with their own decorations or furniture and more. Some also allow
- Arrange for a trial stay. Many homes permit overnight or short-term
stay, and can also be a viable alternative during short-term illnesses or family
absence - good time to try a residence on for size!
Individuals contemplating residential choices for themselves or their family
members are invited to visit long-term care homes and retirement residences
participating in Open Doors in their area for tours, events and more.
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