As referral and placement professionals, we are accustomed to receiving frantic calls from families, social workers, and care managers who are working with someone in crisis who needs placement. These situations may arise when insurance no longer covers a hospital or skilled nursing room, or a loved one has reached the limits of being able to stay at home. No one wants to face the idea of moving into a care setting, however, planning ahead can save considerable stress and anxiety when it comes to finding a home for a loved one.
Do the research early- there’s a lot to see.
Even if you have no intentions of moving a loved one anytime soon, it can’t hurt to put feet on the street and see what’s out there. In the greater Portland metro area, the options range from large retirement communities and assisted living complexes, to micro-communities, residential care, and adult care homes. Each of these options has pros and cons and offers a variety of amenities depending on the level of care. What’s important here is to know what these levels offer should your loved one need them.
Do the research when your loved one can participate in the decision making process.
If your loved one has had a chance to participate in this process, your job becomes much easier once the time comes for a change. Not only will your loved one have their own opinions and preferences, they will give you insight on things to look for that you may not have thought about that may be important to them. In fact, they might like what they see and kick-start the transition without a crisis event.
Do work with a placement and referral professional.
We highly recommend working with a reputable agency to guide you through the process of finding care options. The search for the right fit can be overwhelming and very time consuming. This is not a one-time phone call. When you decide to work with a placement and referral agency, you have enlisted an educated, in-the-know-advocate for you and your loved one that will work with you from start to finish. They will take the time to understand your situation and present options to fit you and your loved one’s needs, desires, and budget. In addition, these agencies have done their homework and have checked the Public Disclosure Files on long term care settings to research complaints and violations. To find agencies who are members of OSRAA, click here.
Do place a deposit if you find something you like.
Most settings will accept a small refundable deposit that puts your name in the queue when a vacancy matching your preferences becomes available. If you are not ready when they call, they simply move to the next name on the list. At this point, you are in their system and have a better chance of getting what you want.
Do expect the unexpected- but now you are an informed consumer.
Life Happens. Your loved one might have a crisis that forces you to make placement decisions. Your first choice may not be available, or no longer appropriate. However, you have done your homework and have a plan B, and C. You will also have a placement professional by your side every step of the way.