Steps in Choosing Long Term Care services

Step 1: Decide the types of services you need now and might need, in the near future.

Step 2: Learn about your choices

  • Adult Day Care (Often in Senior Centers or sometimes sponsored by Foundations)
  • Meals on Wheels
  • In-home care with help
  • Independent living facilities
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Board and Care Homes
  • Nursing Homes
  • Continuing Care Retirement communities (CCRCs) (These usually require an initial investment and ongoing monthly fees, with where you live based on your level of need, with the fees going up as your level of needs escalate.)

Step 3: Find out which of these choices are available where you live.

  • Talk to family, friends and your doctors in helping to outline your choices.
  • Visit or call you local social service agency or hospitals to ask for help from social workers in locating options and choices.
  • Call your local Area Agency on Aging. This agency gives you info on all community services for older people where they live. You can get their local number by looking on the Administration on Aging Website or by calling the Eldercare Locator 800-677-1116.
  • Locate a Geriatric Care Manager locally. Interview them and get references. Requirements vary costs are sometime high. Google the title and you will be able to locate one in your area of need.

Step 4: Find out how these programs and services rate in quality.

  • Talk to others in the area, friends or relatives to get referrals.
  • Call your local Office of Consumer Affairs, and State Health Department. These sources may only be able to give you info on facilities. Telephone numbers are listed in the blue pages of telephone book.
  • Call your state or local Long Term Care Ombudsman. They monitor nursing homes and long term care facilities and can give you info on recent state inspections

Step 5: Visit and talk with the programs you are considering.

  • Go over info already received
  • Make sure to talk to the program director
  • Make sure to write down any questions you may have beforehand and any you have while there.
  • Best time to think about your options is before you need it.