- Visit. When you find a place that seems
right, go talk to the staff, residents, and, if
possible, family members of residents. Set up an
appointment, but also go unannounced and at
different times of the day. See if the staff
treats residents with respect and tries to meet
the needs of each person. Check if the building
is clean and safe. Are residents restrained in
any way? Are social activities and exercise
programs offered--and enjoyed? Do residents have
personal privacy? Is the facility secure for
people and their belongings? Eat a meal there to
see if you like the food.
- Understand. Once you have made a choice, be
sure you understand the facility's contract and
financial agreement. It's a good idea to have a
lawyer look them over before you sign.
A Smooth Transition
Moving from home to a long-term care facility or
nursing home is a big change. It affects the whole
family. Some facilities or community groups have a
social worker who can help you prepare for the
change. Allow some time to adjust after the move has
Regular visits by family and friends are
important. They can be reassuring and comforting.
Visits are necessary, too, for keeping an eye on the
care that is being given.