What if you suddenly need to find a care community?

By Justin Hanratty
Friday, November 20, 2015

Hard working business people often struggle to maintain a good work/life balance. But what if that balance suddenly shifts when an elderly parent or loved one urgently needs a new living situation? Rather than being surprised by such a crisis, it is better to plan ahead.

In that sense of preparedness, I talked to a man who specializes in that industry, President and CEO Tim Tucker of Augustana Care.

What are the options?

Independent living is for older adults who value convenience and security in a comfortable, social environment.

Assisted living is for those who need help performing daily activities but don’t require round-the-clock skilled nursing care.

Care suites combine apartment living with twenty-four-hour comprehensive care.

Skilled nursing services are for those who need round-the-clock medical care.

Memory care provides a community focused on maximizing residents’ skills and abilities for those with conditions like Alzheimer’s that result in cognitive changes and/or memory loss.

Short-term Rehabilitation offers a bridge between hospital and home where individuals can have the time they need to heal.

How do you start the process of choosing the right care community?

Make a visit. There is no substitute for a personal tour and visit. It’s best to make an appointment with the marketing director.

How can you ensure your loved one will find the best care?

Talk to the residents first! And take note:

  • Do they appear to be happy and comfortable?
  • Check the results of a resident and family satisfaction survey (if they have one).
  • Do residents socialize with each other?
  • Is staff friendly, professionally dressed, personable and outgoing?
  • Are visits welcome at any time?
  • What are the qualifications of the staff?
  • Do they conduct criminal background checks?
  • Is spiritual care provided?

What are some red flags tp look out for?

  • Loud noises and chaotic environments
  • Disrespect that compromises residents’ dignity and peace of mind
  • Absentee administrators
  • A lack of choices for resident meals, activities and bed times
  • Stale or bad odors
  • Unsafe neighborhoods
  • Inattentive staff