Find a Care Home: 7 Tips for Choosing the Right Fit for Your Loved One

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How do you find a care home that you know will be the right fit for your loved one(s)? You need to know what your options are and know the right questions for thorough research. To help you do that, you’ll find different care options for the elderly and 7 helpful tips for finding a good care home, below.

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CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn steps to help you find a care home for your loved one that suits them, including:

Choosing The Right Care Home for Your Relative

As empty-nesters, you’ll discover there is a lot to look forward to. However, we are often sandwiched between generations—just as you’re done caring for children, our hearts go next to our aging parents. They may be defining their next chapter as well, and it may mean they need additional care.

Choosing the right care home for a loved one can be an overwhelming process. But, the good news is that there are many things you can do to find the best fit for your family member’s needs, preferences, and budget. 

That way, you’ll be assured your loved one is in the very best care possible.

In this blog post, we’ll go over seven tips to help you make a well-informed decision about which facility might be the best place for your family member.

Whether you’re looking to find care in the eastern suburbs of Australia or New England, these tips below can help.

First, let’s look at the different types of care homes you might consider.

Related Article: Find out more about aging in place.

Care Home vs. Nursing Home

A care home can differ from a nursing home in that the nursing home will always have qualified nursing staff on-site to administer medical care. A residential care home is generally limited to providing residential care, but some may also offer nursing care. 

At a minimum, care homes provide living space and care and support when your loved one needs help managing their everyday life. It may also include offering assistance with dressing, washing and eating.

Some people use the term nursing home and care home interchangeably, so think about what you’re looking for. Here are some types of care homes you may look into.

Types of Care Homes

Long-term care facilities come in many shapes and sizes. Of course, you’ll want to find a loving care home for your parent(s) or relative. Knowing the options before you can help. 

  • Independent Living Facility – a senior community for those who want to live with other people and remain physically independent
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community – you’ll usually buy or rent a property and then pay for care and support services as needed 
  • Assisted Living Community – suits various levels of need to meet personal and medical needs in a home-like setting, and may be a home-like or group living setting
  • Nursing Home – provides accommodations with 24-hour medical care from a qualified nurse, including skilled (medical) care and custodial (non-medical) care.

Depending on your loved one’s needs, you may also consider private homes for elderly care or in-home care. You may also look into specialized care for elderly services, like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, and other medical circumstances specific to your relative.

Related: Key Questions to Ask Nursing Home – Choose the Right One for Your Loved One

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7 Helpful Tips for Finding a Good Care Home 

Use the tips below for going about finding the right living circumstances for the one you love. They are 7 important things to consider when choosing a nursing home or care home.

1. Start By Identifying Your Loved One’s Needs

The first step in choosing a care home is identifying what your loved one needs

For example, some people need around-the-clock care, while others only require assistance with certain activities or tasks. 

It’s important to be realistic about the level of care your loved one requires and to find a facility that can meet those needs.

2. Make a List of the Qualities You Want in a Care Home

Now that you know what your loved one needs, it’s time to start thinking about which features and amenities are most important to them. 

For example: 

  • Would they like an on-site restaurant where they can order meals can from a menu? 
  • How important is it for them to have their own bedroom and bathroom? 
  • What kinds of activities do they enjoy and does the care home offer them?

Make a list of the most important things to your loved one and use it as a starting point for your care home search, whether you’re looking for senior living in Arlington, Texas, or elsewhere.

3. Consider Your Loved One’s Budget

The cost of care homes can vary widely, so it’s essential to find a facility that fits within your loved one’s budget. Be sure to ask about the cost of monthly care and any additional fees (like meals, laundry services, or supportive care).

If you’re looking for a care home with nursing support or a nursing home, you might be shocked to find that it can run several thousands of dollars per month, depending on where you live. 

So, find out if some or all of the cost may be covered by your loved one’s insurance. If so, you’ll also want to know whether they can still keep a small amount of funds in their bank account or if that will be prohibited. 

If the cost will be entirely out of pocket, make sure you’re clear on the terms, what’s included, and the cost for additional services. 

Financial questions to ask a nursing home or care home might feel a little uncomfortable but must factor into your decision.

4.  Tour Several Care Homes

Once you know what your loved ones need and what’s important to them, it’s time for a tour

You’ll want to visit more than one facility so that you can compare and contrast their features. Ask lots of questions during the tours and get a sense of the staff’s attitude towards residents.

As with any big decision, there’s often an element of instinct involved. Once you find the best match for your loved one based on the data, weigh in on your gut.

Can you envision your loved one fitting in here? Feeling as happy as possible in this environment? Do they seem like they will be compassionate about their needs?   

 Make sure you have a good feeling about the place and that it will serve your loved one well.

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5.  Check Out The Care Home’s Website And Social Media Pages

In addition to (or before) visiting a care home in person, you’ll want to check out their website and social media pages for reviews on the facility. This will give you a good sense of what the facility is like and whether it would be a good fit for your loved one.

It may also give you a sign of which care homes to steer clear of, or follow-up issues to address with the care home.

6.  Ask Questions and For References From Past Residents

In addition to making a list of the qualities you want in a care home, it’s also important to make a list of questions you’d like answered before deciding on a facility. 

For example:

  • What is their staff turnover rate? 
  • How often do they have activities and events? 
  • Does your loved one’s doctor serve the facility?
  • Do they coordinate transportation to appointments?

Once you’ve made your lists, contact the care home and ask if you can speak with families of former residents about their experiences. 

You’ll also want to use your own community connections to ask about experiences with the care home, and assess its general reputation.

7.  Contact An Agency

If you’re having trouble finding suitable residential care homes for elderly loved ones, you can always contact an elder care agency. These agencies are experts in the care home search process and can help you find a facility that meets your loved one’s needs.

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right Care Home

Choosing a suitable care home for a loved one can be a daunting task, but with these tips in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect fit.

Continue reading about elderly care services.

Photo credit: Noelle Otto (Pexels)

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About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

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