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Finding a Long-Term Care Facility for Your Loved One

woman helping her senior citizen mother with finding a long term care facility for your loved one

Most families reach the point where they have to make the difficult decision of moving an elderly loved one into long-term care. Because everyone’s budgets, lifestyles, and care needs vary, there are many long-term care options to choose from, which can feel overwhelming.

Westminster Place is a non-profit, faith-based senior living community in Longview, TX. We are one of six retirement communities operated by Buckner Retirement Services, which has been providing seniors with expert care and dignified living in Texas since 1954. At Westminster Place, our compassionate, expert staff can help guide you in determining the need for long-term care. Reach out to us online or call 903.329.6520 to learn more.

What is a Long-Term Facility?

Long-term care is an umbrella term that refers to the care or assistance needed to help seniors perform activities of daily living (ADLs) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLS). ADLs include basic tasks essential to independent living, such as dressing, bathing, eating, and using the bathroom. IADLS are more complex daily living tasks, including prepping meals, housekeeping, shopping, and managing finances.

Long-term care options fall into two categories: custodial care and skilled care. Custodial care involves non-medical assistance, and skilled care involves medical or rehabilitation services. Seniors who require only custodial care can reside in an assisted living facility, while those who need skilled care need a long-term facility with 24-hour access to staff and services.

Signs That Long-Term Care is Needed

Today’s seniors are living independently much longer than ever before. However, dementia, injuries, and progressive or chronic diseases impact millions of seniors resulting in the need for long-term care. It can be challenging to know when and if a senior loved one needs a higher level of care.

Signs that long-term care is needed include the following:

  • Injury or illness creates mobility problems
  • Inability to manage medications
  • Chronic or worsening health problems
  • Difficulty managing ADLs or IADLs
  • Inability to drive
  • Wandering or getting lost in familiar places
  • Multiple falls

Many seniors struggle to acknowledge or accept the need to move into long-term care. They may downplay their need for assistance or try to cover up their problems. Family members should pay attention to cuts and bruises, broken or damaged items throughout the home, how pets are being cared for, significant weight loss, or sudden changes in demeanor or behavior.

What to Look for in a Long-Term Care Facility

When health and safety concerns make independent living impossible, choosing an appropriate long-term care facility is essential. Knowing what to look for will empower family members to make an informed decision and help differentiate between the quality facilities and those you should avoid. Consider the following:

  • Respect for residents – Care is person-centered, and residents are treated with dignity no matter their level of functioning. The staff is highly trained, friendly, caring, and supportive, and they respect residents’ privacy.
  • High-quality, tasty food – Good nutrition is essential for seniors. Meals need to be freshly made, customized to meet special dietary needs, and, most of all, taste good. Mealtimes should allow for the opportunity to socialize.
  • Variety of activities – There should be a wide range of physical, educational, creative, and social activities to appeal to all residents within the care facility and in the larger community.
  • Amenities – Senior living amenities need to serve a purpose and enhance the quality of life for residents. They should reflect aspects of well-being, including physical health, emotional wellness, spiritual needs, social life, creativity, and cognitive health.

Cleanliness and safety are paramount, and the environment should be welcoming and home-like to ensure residents’ comfort and security. Friends and family members should be encouraged to visit any time, within reason.

Reach Out to Westminster Place for Long-Term Care in Longview, Texas

Westminster Place is a faith-based senior living community that offers the full continuum of senior care. The Cottage is our long-term, 24-hour skilled nursing care facility comprised of the

Neches Cottage and the Magnolia Cottage. With low resident-to-staff ratios, residents of The Cottages receive highly personalized care from a dedicated, compassionate team of professionals. Reach out to us online or call 903.329.6520 to schedule a tour today.