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Finding the Right Care Home for the Elderly: A Quick Guide

Choosing a senior care home

Many adults face the decision of where to place an elderly parent or another relative. It is a difficult choice and one not to be taken lightly. There are many questions to ask before deciding on a comfortable place where your loved one will be safe. The difference between Eldercare and Homecare can be found at this site. Below are easy step-by-step guidelines to finding the right care home for your loved ones, such as in-home care, nursing homes, and retirement homes.

Do They Need In-Home Care or a Full-Time Care Facility?

Firstly, decide if your parent or another relative is able to continue living in their own home. If they want to stay in their home, and most seniors do, then they will need in-home care. Be sure to include your aging loved one in the discussion as the decision could involve a big change for them. Moving can be scary at any age and it’s even scarier if the person who is moving is not part of the decision-making process.

What is In-Home Care?

In-home care means someone comes to your loved one’s home and helps them with everyday tasks, such as:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Meal preparation
  • Companionship
  • Personal care

For personal care, exactly what that looks like varies from person to person, depending on their needs. For example, it could include help getting in and out of the bathtub or using the bathroom. They may also help administer medication. Thus, you need to learn about the qualifications of the different providers in your area and ensure they meet the caregiver training requirements and can provide quality care. You can obtain more information about caregiver certifications and other specialities online by using services such as Caregiverlist provides.

Or, they could assist with medical equipment or a device. If you would like to find more information from residential care providers The Live In Care Company, you can find their page on live-in care here.

Alternatively, you might invite your loved one, such as a parent, to move into your own home. If you are considering moving them in, know what to expect beforehand to decide if it is the best step for everyone involved.

Full-Time Care Facility

If you decide that your loved one needs more help than someone coming into their home for a few hours a week or a day, then another option is full-time care housing. This place is also known as a long-term care facility.

There are two types of full-time care facilities:

  • Retirement homes
  • Nursing homes

Below is more info about each one to help you and the aging loved one decide what is the right care home.

Retirement Homes

These are more like apartments for seniors who can take care of themselves but may need to be around other people. This type of facility may have scheduled outings to movies and other fun things or even have on-site activities.

When a person or couple moves into a retirement home, they need to be healthy and able to care for themselves. It’s much like living in their own home, but they don’t have to worry about yard work and there is a nice place to eat downstairs. Most of these types of places come with a restaurant included that the residents can eat all or some of their meals there.

Nursing Homes

This type of senior care house is more of a hospital. Some rooms in nursing homes are a little larger and fancier than the typical hospital room. However, the individuals that stay in this area are able to get up and move around on their own.

The rooms with more than just a bathroom, but less than a full apartment, are typically for those who are more mobile and can take care of many of their wants. These seniors may need help taking medication or reminders to do different things on a certain schedule.

The hospital-type rooms in nursing homes, on the other hand, are for those individuals who can no longer take care of themselves. They suffer from a wide range of illnesses and might need round-the-clock care.

Getting Help with This Decision

If you can’t decide if your loved one needs daily in-home help or to move instead, seek help from their physicians. A medical evaluation will be helpful in making the decision for where your parent or another elderly person should live.

Ask relatives for their input too. While doing so may get you several different answers, someone may come up with an idea you hadn’t thought of and that’s always helpful.

Finances and the Right Care Home

If your loved one has a financial planner or someone who handles their finances, include this person in the discussions about residence. A person with knowledge of their monetary status will then be able to let you know financially sound options. Take that info into consideration along with their health needs and, as said before, include your aging parent in the conversation during the entire process.

Someone from your loved one’s insurance company may also be of help when it comes to monthly expenses. For example, can your elderly relative afford to live in a certain type of assisted housing?

Contact Center on Aging

If you are in the U.S. and need more information about the different options for where your loved one will live, contact the local or state Center on Aging. They have experts on when is a good time to move a loved one and where to live at what life stage. They have helped countless people in your situation and can help you sort out the different options.

Talking to Your Loved One

It is important to get your loved one’s input and wishes before making a final decision. Include them in as many of the choices as you can. Take them with you, if possible, to view different senior accommodations and to meet with advisors about their future.

Know that you may run into some resistance, and that is when the help of someone who deals with seniors can be of help. There are senior living advocates as well as companies that can take over the process of getting your loved one in a new space for you.

Check Out the New Care Home

Always look carefully at the places you are considering for your loved one. Think about the distance from your home or work in case of an emergency; you’ll want to be with them fast. Also, consider how clean the place is, and how many nurses are on staff.

Stop by the facility too and walk around it by yourself. As you do so, watch whether the nurses and other staff behave kindly to the elderly when they think no one is watching them. Sadly, there are cases when nursing homes don’t follow health guidelines and issues like bedsores can come from nursing home neglect.

In addition, think about if you yourself wanted to live in this place. Would you be okay or even like this place?

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are unsure of something, ask about it. If you don’t get a straight answer, then this may not be the place for your loved one.

Go With Your Gut

Intuition is important! If you don’t like a place, for whatever reason, listen to that uneasy feeling. It’s better to change your mind before removing your parent from their home than they get comfortable somewhere new only to move again.

Have you had to find the right care home for an aging parent or another person close to you? If so, what was your experience like? Do you worry about not receiving a high standard of care as a senior?

24 thoughts on “Finding the Right Care Home for the Elderly: A Quick Guide”

  1. Never ceases to amaze me that countries such as the US still don’t operate a national health service system or similar that ensures everyone is care for regardless.

    Great post :)

    1. Well I’m gonna right on and apologise wholeheartedly for assuming you were from the US :/ Canada is a whole ‘nother country I love.

      Lifelong friend of mine is currently living in Halifax and keeps saying “It’s kinda like the really really British part of Britain – BUT EVEN BRITSH?!” :D

    2. No need to apologize and it’s wonderful having you here! I wish the U.S. would take some notes from Canada re healthcare…

  2. Excellent message. My Mother lived in assisted living and then, moved to full nursing care home. Our family was able to visit and keep in constant touch with the staff. Those relationships with staff helped our Mother receive much better care.

    1. I’m so pleased that your mom had a good experience and that you were close to the staff at the care home, Mimi. Your loving nature for her shines through in your comment.

  3. You’ve covered a lot of possibilities and options here, Christy. We had been through both in-home care and then finally nursing care for my Mum. As you say, there is much to be considered, from all parties. The advice will be useful for many are in similar situations.

    1. I do hope that the info here helps someone… Really that’s what I want for my writing overall. Thanks for the encouragement, Norah

    1. So true, Christy! Wonderful article. Here in Germany caring for elder citizens has become a “money making business”. The bigger christian churches are the monopolists, they got and get the money, and preaching about a life after the death. So they dont need to care too much. There will be a better place in Paradise. Sarcasm? Yes, but well dosed! Lol Michael

    2. Sarcastic, yes ;) I don’t like the idea of preying on the elderly by anyone as they are a vulnerable group overall. It sounds like a few things need changing in Germany, as with some things here in Canada.

  4. In the states it’s a Challenge based on what you can afford. I would advise young people to get Long Term care insurance. Medicare does not pay for nursing home facilities. Also if you try to transfer your parents assets to yourself or your siblings Uncle Sam will find that money and take everything. Basically your Elderly parents will lose all their assets to the US Government before you or they can apply for Medicaid.

    I remember in 1995 my Dad needed to be in a Veteran nursing home. That’s when I was hit with the rude awakening that Long Term care and Veterans nursing homes are not free so despite the fact that my Dad served during the Korean War it didn’t matter.
    However God decided that it was time for him to be in his heavenly home and Daddy went to be with the Lord within less than two weeks. That was my horror story involving my Dad. I won’t discuss the hell I went through caring for my Mom who had severe disabilities including blindness towards the end of her life.

    Being that I never married nor had children I have no one to care for me if I become I’ll, sick or incapacitated. And even though I’m a US Army Veteran I know that the government won’t help me.

    My prayer is that I will die in my sleep. American medical care is a nightmare that nobody should have to navigate.

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