Selecting Long-Term Care Facilities

 

Selecting a long-term care facility so that it is the best fit for the person who will be living there and for the family is an important decision. A safe, well-managed long-term care facility with the necessary services will present fewer problems over the long term.

It can be especially helpful to think about long-term care before a crisis occurs. This allows time for discussions with healthcare providers, family members and financial advisers.

How to Approach the Selection Process

Going through the following steps will help make the many options and decisions regarding long-term care clearer:

    • Decide what you need. Consult with the senior’s primary physician to determine the level of care that is needed. The following questions will help guide the process:
      • What type of assistance is needed?
      • Is assistance needed for activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, etc?
      • Is assistance needed with activities such as shopping, housework, meal preparation or bill paying?
      • Is assistance needed with health care activities such as remembering to take medicines, diabetes monitoring, getting oxygen, etc.?
      • Are there location issues to be considered?
    • Research care choices. There are many types of long-term care and living choices for older people. A nursing home is not the only option for long-term care. Ways in which you can get information about the available options include: your doctor, your local social service agencies or hospitals or online databases. Online sources of information about long-term care solutions include:
      • From hospitals to home care, CalQualityCare.org makes it easy to find providers and compare the quality of health care in California. - See more at: http://www.calqualitycare.org/#sthash.VylFsDZy.dpuf
        From hospitals to home care, CalQualityCare.org makes it easy to find providers and compare the quality of health care in California. - See more at: http://www.calqualitycare.org/#sthash.VylFsDZy.dpufv
        From hospitals to home care, CalQualityCare.org makes it easy to find providers and compare the quality of health care in California. - See more at: http://www.calqualitycare.org/#sthash.VylFsDZy.dpuf
        CalQualityCare.org makes it easy to find providers and compare the quality of health care in California, from hospitals to homecare CalQuality Care shines.
      • California Registry is a state licensed, free referral agency for seniors and their families. Founded in 1939, it provides care options, counseling, referrals and facility evaluations free of charge. They have up-to-date information on more than 7,500 facilities in California. They also provide information by phone at (800) 777-7575.
      • Home Health Compare, a Medicare database, which allows you to select home health agencies by location and services needed.
      • Nursing Home Compare, another Medicare database, allows you to select nursing homes and compare their services and ratings.
      • Nursing Home Guide created by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform™ with in-depth information on the more than 1,400 nursing homes in California. The guide includes comparisons, violation information, staffing and services.
      • Residential care is a project of the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform and provides information on assisted living or board and care facilities.
    • Research options for paying for long-term care. Talk to your financial advisor about financing long-term care. A discussion of various options can be found in the Paying for Long-Term Care section of the Medicare web site.
    • Identify your best options. Ways of doing this include asking friends and others who have experience with long-term care programs and services about their experiences. Call the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program office (go to the Contact Us section of this website).
    • Visit facilities and assess them using the WISE & Healthy Aging Ombudsman Program Nursing Home Checklist.
    • CCLD.CA.gov (The Community Care Licensing Division) is a website useful for seaching for licenced residential care, seach is by city or zip code.