• Aging Well Denver

What You Don't Think To Ask Before Moving a Loved One Into a Care Facility

Making the decision to move your loved one into a care facility can spark a lot of anxiety, insecurity, and nerves. It's a choice that can have many implications and so it's no surprise that you would have tons of questions for the staff at the facilities that you tour. We asked members of our community what questions they wished they had asked. This is what they said.

Will there be a facility manager available at all times?

"When we moved our son into a care facility, I didn't think to ask whether or not there would be a manager on duty and when. We like the place he's at and he likes it too, but I wish there was someone I could contact and count on being there when I have questions."

What should we expect in terms of maintenance and facility care?

"We had to call repeatedly, over several months to get anyone to address some mold spots in the bathroom. We couldn't get them to take our requests seriously and ended up trying to control it ourselves. The regular cleaning staff does a good job but maintenance concerns were not addressed in a timely manner."

Can residents eat when they want?

"I didn't think to ask if there were snacks available in between meals. The facility that my father is in does not allow the residents access to the kitchen outside of meal times. We had to provide snacks for his room so that he wouldn't get too hungry."

Do you have emergency or lockdown drills?

"My son lives in a facility that ended up having an active shooter close by. When I heard what was going on I froze thinking that I wasn't sure if they had lockdown procedures or whether or not my son knew about them. I ended up finding out that they did and they had been notified by police to lock the entrances but I wish I'd had that peace of mind through the whole ordeal."

What is your staff turnover rate?

"My grandmother gets really attached to the people that work at her home. I was sad to see how high the turnover was at her facility because every time her nurse or aid would leave she would be so disappointed. I know there isn't much they can do about that, but I wish I could have prepared her a bit more or chosen a facility that has a higher staff satisfaction rating."

Will I be notified if my loved one falls or is hurt?

"I should have asked what the procedures were for injuries and falls. I know now that there are regulations but I was so worried about my dad falling that I checked in constantly. I would have been able to relax if I had known what rules were beforehand.

Is there transportation available?

"I had to purchase passes for my daughter to use the bus. There are some homes that have transportation available and I just assumed that her facility did too. I didn't realize that she wasn't able to get around easily for a few weeks after she moved in."

How do you handle resident disputes?

"I kept hearing from my mom that there was another resident that was bothering her. When I asked management about it, they just said that these things happen and not to worry. I ended up having to move my mother after several more complaints being ignored. Just make sure they have a policy in place to seperate residents that can't get along."

Do you have any questions that you wished you had asked? Or helpful tips?

Share with us in the comments or in our forum!