With Elder Law of East Tennessee as your guide, together we will select a long-term care facility that meets your loved ones needs and preferences.  We understand this is a big decision. Our goal is to ensure your loved one is safe, happy, and well cared for. 

Below we have outlined five areas of consideration in choosing a long-term care facility. 

Quality of Life 

Quality of life should be a top priority. Below are a few questions to consider when deciding how your loved will spend their time at a long-term care facility:

  • What is a typical day like for a resident? 
  • What types of activities are available and their frequency? 
  • Do the activities align with their interests?
  • Are the rooms private or shared? 
  • How about family time, social gatherings and holiday celebrations?
  • Does the facility offer spiritual or religious services?

The Quality of Care in a Long-Term Care Facility

On your visit, observe the interactions between staff and residents.  It may be helpful to ask current residents what they enjoy most about living there and what they would change. 

  • Is there an on-site medical professional on staff 24/7? 
  • What is the ratio of residents to staff? 
  • Will your loved one have the same staff taking care of him/her or will this always be changing?
  • Do the staff members seem happy? 
  • How long have the staff members worked there? What is the turnover rate?

The Facility Location

One aspect that may make your loved one feel safe is knowing that friends and family members are close by.  

  • Is the facility convenient to all or most family members?
  • Are there care limitations at the facility?

Keep in mind the traffic and the time of day, in relationship to the days of the week that family and friends would be visiting. 

Dining within a Care Facility

The National Council for Aging Care states that meal and dining experiences have been shown to make a big difference in the overall satisfaction of nursing home residents. Review the menus to look for variety in options and nutrition. If possible, have a meal while on visiting. 

  • Are residents able to choose from a variety of food items including fruits and vegetables? 
  • Do options include gluten free, vegetarian and/or other dietary needs? 
  • Is there food available all day long or only during certain hours?
  • Is the facility able to accommodate special diets? 
  • Can your loved sit with his/her friends during meals?

Cost of a Long-Term Care Facility

  • What services are included in the cost?  
  • Will your loved one be eligible for coverage under Medicaid (this will depend on income and assets as well)?
  • If your loved one needs a higher level of care, can this be done at this facility or would your loved one have to move?

On a final note, you will want to make sure the facility you select is certified, especially if your loved one does or will qualify for Medicaid. 

For a complete guide and checklist on choosing a long-term care facility, click here.