Tips on Finding the Right Care Facility for a Loved One

If you’re looking for a high-quality nursing home for a loved one, the advice from the experts is to do your homework. It’s never too early to start looking and it’s important that you don’t rush the decision. 


It will help if you know there is funding in place to help pay for your loved ones care, so you might want to check out their ALTCS eligibility, for those living in Arizona. But following on from that, a good place to start is with a plan. Here are some steps you can take right away to help you find the right place for your loved one, if and when the time comes for them to move.

Understand the Different Options

Long-term care residences take several different forms, for example:


  • Assisted living facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Board and care homes
  • Continued care retirement communities


The main difference between these facilities is the level of care each provides. 


Assisted living facilities are those that provide some help with daily living requirements, such as cleaning, cooking, transportation, and medication management. This type of facility is most suited for an adult who can take good care of themselves, but needs help with some daily activities occasionally. 


Nursing homes offer a higher level of daily care that might include:


  • Nursing care
  • Rehabilitation services, such as physical, occupational, or speech therapy
  • Help getting in and out of bed or getting dressed
  • Medical management for chronic conditions
  • Memory care for patients suffering from various forms of dementia


Both board and care homes are small assisted living homes that have fewer than 20 residents living in private or shared rooms. 

Continuing care retirement communities comprise multiple levels of service such as independent housing, assisted living, and a skilled nursing facility. Residents have the option to move into higher care should their needs change. 

Choose the Best Option

Which facility is best for your loved one will depend on their ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL). These activities include:


  • Medication management
  • Eating
  • Personal hygiene
  • Continence 
  • Mobility 


Your loved one’s physician will be able to help determine the level of care needed. 

Select Facilities to Visit

There are lots of resources you can turn to for information, for example:


  • Local or state agency on aging: These agencies can help you find the searchable database of assisted living facilities, if your state has one.
  • LeadingAge: This is an association of aging-related organizations that has an online Aging Services Directory where you can search for facilities in your area.
  • Argentum: This is a trade association for senior living communities. There is also an online directory for searching by ZIP code.
  • Word of mouth: Ask friends, relatives, neighbors and your loved one’s doctor for recommendations.  

Make Your Visit

During th COVID-19 pandemic, in-person visits were not allowed. Most facilities offered virtual visits over Zoom or other video conferencing methods. Restrictions are now being lifted, but whether you’re visiting a facility virtually or in person, there are similar things you need to make note of. 


  • Is the care facility clean?
  • Are there common areas such as living rooms and dens and are they comfortable?
  • Is the home easy for a senior to find their way around?
  • Will your loved one have enough space in their room?
  • With regards to residents safety, are the safety handrails, safety locks on doors and windows, and call buttons?
  • Are the stairways and hallways well lit, the exits well-marked and security and fire safety systems clearly in place?


Also observe how the staff treat residents and each other as this is a good indicator of how well the facility runs.   

Finally, Check the Fine Print 

Before you make your final decision, get a clear list of what services are provided in writing. In addition, you’ll need to clarify what costs extra, how billing and payments are managed, and any other details that might impact your decision. 

Also make sure that the facility is up to date with its state licensing and whether there have been any reported violations or fines in recent audits. If a facility fails to provide any of the above information, consider that a red flag and remove them from your list.

Final Thoughts

Of course you want to find the best possible long-term care for your loved one. Unfortunately, not all facilities are cut from the same cloth so you have to spend time doing your homework. 

All the effort you put in now will be rewarded and your loved one will have a place to stay that’s comfortable, caring, and well managed. When a loved one can’t stay in their own home anymore because they need extra care, knowing that you’ve found an alternative where they can be happy will put your mind at ease.  

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