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The moment that you decide your aging parent needs to move to a long-term care facility

is an emotional one. Maybe your mother or father has had a series of falls lately or keeps forgetting to take his or her prescribed medication. No matter what the warning signs are, moving your aging parent into an assisted living facility or nursing home is often the right step when you are concerned about your parent living alone. While this is a difficult decision to make, it is equally as challenging to choose the right place for your parent.

These three steps can help you find an appropriate long-term care facility for an aging parent.

  1. Involve your parent in the search.

This is an overwhelming time for your parent, and it is important to be as sensitive as possible. Your parent is already losing their independence.  Involving your parent in the search for a long-term care facility can help alleviate some of their fears and worries. Ask your parent what his or her opinion is and how you can best help him or her. We do, however, encourage you to research nearby facilities on your own or with siblings before taking your parent to visit a facility.  You can begin the search by checking out inspection reports for facilities either through the State of Florida or Medicare‘s website

  1. Be observant.

During a visit to a long-term care facility, you should ask yourself whether you see your parent enjoying his or her stay there. Is it clean? Are the staff friendly? Are there daily activities for your parent to be involved in? These are all important questions to consider while taking a tour.  Remember, this is the place where your parent will live.

Similarly, you should be on the lookout for warning signs. Are the residents mostly confined to their rooms or look bored?   Does the facility have a strong smell of urine?  Do you see staff members interacting with the residents?  These observations may signal that your parent may not receive the level of care he or she needs.

  1. Ask plenty of questions.

We encourage you to think of your visit to a long-care facility such as an assisted living facility or nursing home like an interview. Do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you like. Consider whether your parent has 24-hour assistance available at the facility.  Does the facility provide rides to doctor’s appointments or to activities outside of the facility.  What are the protocols if your parent falls unexpectedly or becomes ill. You should never feel like you cannot ask staff members at the facility to address your questions and concerns.

These are just some of the steps you should consider taking when choosing the right long-term care facility for your parent. Do not hesitate to take some time for yourself during this emotional time in both your and your parent’s life. If we can answer any questions for you or provide more advice, do not wait to contact our office to schedule a meeting.