Checklist For Evaluating Senior Care Facilities

A senior care facility is a good option for people 55+ who require a little more assistance than in-home care. It’s typically a home in a senior community and houses 2-8 seniors who are at a similar stage in terms of health.

Originally called boarding homes, residential care facilities provide non-medical care services – it may include help bathing, dressing, toileting, cooking, and banking and medication management.

When looking for a residential care facility, it’s important to anticipate and plan for future health needs. Does the facility offer specialized care? Physical therapy? Memory care?

Checklist For Evaluating Senior Care Facilities

Checklist #1

  • Ask about staff experience level.
  • Are staff members happy or mundane?
  • Request references from previous residents that have lived at the facility.
  • Ask for references from physicians, RNs, discharge planners, religious leaders, and community leaders that have recommended or know someone that has lived at the facility.
  • Discussing finances. Ask for a fee schedule. Are there any extra charges that will be added to the monthly fee?
  • If you have long term care insurance, will the facility bill the client or the insurance company?
  • Does the facility accept Medicaid as payment? Is there a specific amount of time that out of pocket expenses is to be paid before Medicaid is available?
  • Are there transportation services available for doctor appointments, going to church, or shopping? Is there a fee for those services?
  • Do the present individuals living at the home looked cared for and clean?
  • Is the building clean and well maintained?
  • Do any of the rooms have a bad odor?
  • Are the caregivers interacting positively with the present residents?
  • Are residents treated with dignity and respect?

Checklist #2

  • Is a resident’s privacy protected when receiving care?
  • Ask what the facility what the staff-to-resident ratio is?
  • Is there a registered nurse (RN) on staff? Does that individual cover several buildings or just one? How often does the RN see the residents?
  • If there’s no RN available – is there an RN consultant that oversees the care on a regular basis? What are the specific days and times of coverage for the RN?
  • Is there regular staff to provide continuity of care?
  • Who supervises the care provided by the aides?
  • Does the facility make doctor appointments, order medication refills, and provide case management services for the residents?
  • What is the process for the family to communicate with the staff regarding questions or concerns?
  • Is it a pet-friendly senior community?
  • Do rooms include an alert system in case of a fall?
  • What type of monitoring system is in place to keep wandering or confused residents safe?

Choosing the right residential care facility should be researched and carefully considered.

Once you have decided on several facilities that meet you or your aging senior’s needs, it is time to revisit the facilities unannounced and at different times of the day and evening. This is going to be your loved one’s home, so choosing the right place can give you and your aging senior peace of mind and the ability to age in a home setting.

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