It’s a difficult decision. But there are steps you can take to make sure that you – and your loved one – will feel comfortable.
Your local Area Agency on Aging has a listing of the day care centers in your area. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, be sure to ask if the staff is trained to work with such people.
Once you’ve picked out a few centers, make an unannounced visit, and ask for a tour. Take a good look at the seniors – do they appear content? Are they involved in engaging activities, and engaging with each other? Or are they just sitting and staring at TV’s? Is the staff professional and involved? Are they encouraging the participants to be independent?
You’ll probably need to show a medical history, a physical exam, and a current TB test or chest x-ray. If your loved one hasn’t had a TB test within the past year, ask if the center will do it (and if there’s a fee). Sit down with someone who can fully explain the admissions process, and the center’s policies and procedures. And ask about fees…not only how much, but when they’re billed, and whether they’re levied in cases of absence.
Make sure the center’s license (if applicable) is current. Ask to see the results of their state inspection. And make certain that any deficiencies noted in the inspection have been corrected.
Ask about the staff/client ratio! For Alzheimer’s patients, the ratio should be no higher than 8:1. Make sure you meet the director, and as many of the staff as you can.
Among the questions you should ask…
- How do you handle patients who wander?
- How many people are you licensed for?
- Your mission statement or philosophy?
- Staff turnover rate?
- Emergency procedures?
- How are meals prepared? On site? Offsite? What about special dietary requirements?
- Staff credentials? Is there a certified Nurse Aide?
- Describe a typical day.
- Is there a secure outdoor area where seniors can walk and socialize (particularly important for Alzheimer’s patients!)?
- Is there a charge for late pick-up?
- Any rules regarding attendance?
- Tell me how I can be involved.
- Do you ever take them off-site, on field trips, etc.? If so, who provides the transportation?
- Is there a social worker on staff…someone who can assist with resources, financial assistance, discharge planning, counseling, etc.?
Finding a good center can seem overwhelming. But we can help!
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’ve been guiding South Florida families through this process for 33 years. We know the right questions. And we know the right answers. In fact, we can walk you through the whole Elder Care journey – from wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and estate planning to asset preservation, long-term care planning, and issues with Medicaid or the VA.
And we’re just a phone call away.
How Do I Choose The Right Adult Day Care Center For My Loved One?