When caring for elderly family members, we must make important decisions that will significantly affect our relative’s life, as well as our own. One of the most difficult decisions is moving your elderly parent out of his own home and choosing the right facility for him. This decision often involves disagreements, feelings of guilt and considerable apprehension for both the family and the elderly parent. A number of consulting companies established in recent years assist the elderly and their families in finding the most suitable facilities.
Every elderly person has different needs, and the chosen facility must meet these needs. Some elderly parents need medical treatment, ongoing supervision or even nursing care, while others would like to move out of their homes simply to enjoy a change in their social environment. A suitable facility will improve both the quality of care and quality of life enjoyed by your parent. However, finding the right place is not a simple task. The vast range of options may seem confusing. A consulting service, specializing in guidance for seniors, can be helpful.
A consulting service is a company that helps elderly people and their families decide which type of facility is most suitable. In some cases, it will also find the specific institution for your parent. Generally, families do not have to pay for this service, although some companies do charge a fee. The main advantage of using a consulting service is that their employees – all university graduates experienced in social work or other therapeutic professions – can make the process easier in a number of different ways:
· Contact with institutions – The counselors in the consulting services have direct connections with various facilities, as well as previous clients. Thus they can hear about the latest changes in any specific place, and also get feedback from present residents about its quality. They know all about current prices, the types of care offered and other details that most of us have no access to.
· Knowing the bureaucratic procedures – In order to register at the various facilities, or obtain financial assistance from government agencies, to meet the expense of a seniors’ home, you must go through complicated bureaucratic procedures, which can take a long time. The counselors in the consulting services are closely familiar with all the procedures and regulations. They will guide you throughout the process, telling you how to get all the required paperwork from the Ministry of Health, the Social Services and your health fund, as quickly and efficiently as possible. In addition, they often have useful personal contacts in the local authorities.
· Reducing the expense – A counselor’s connections with the facilities can help you get various discounts – as institutions have a financial interest in accepting new residents. Don’t forget that assistance in dealing with the bureaucracy can also save you a lot of money.
· Relieving the emotional burden – As mentioned above, the decision about placing an elderly parent in the right institution often involves considerable stress and a sense of guilt. These often get even worse when you also have to deal with all the bureaucracy. A consulting service can make the whole process much easier, making a considerable contribution to the whole family’s peace of mind.
Before you start looking for a facility for your parent, you must define the exact needs that must be met by this facility. Does your parent require nursing care or constant medical treatment, or is he/ she looking for a richer social life environment? Other important considerations are the home’s location, your budget and whether your parent meets the institution’s requirements for admission.
If you decide to use a consulting service, you must be very careful to choose the right company. Check the counselor’s professional credentials, and make sure that he/ she suggests a wide variety of solutions. Try to avoid counselors who only recommend a few institutions with which they have formed some kind of agreement. Go back on your own to places the counselor has recommended, to get a more objective picture. Listen to the impressions of others who have previously used the company’s services. Furthermore, a consulting service may not be the right solution for you. Sometimes you need to try other approaches.
If you prefer not to use a consulting service, there are other ways to find the information you need:
· Recommendations from friends – Sometimes a good word from a friend is worth much more than the advice of an expert. If a friend tells you that his parents are living in a certain place and getting good care, this is reason enough to give this facility some favorable consideration. So ask your friends for advice.
· Internet – Many websites and online forums allow you to consult with others in your situation. In many forums you can also read people’s stories about different institutions, and form your own impressions.
· Independent tours – Visit a number of facilities in the relevant vicinity, together with your parents. Make appointments to meet the staff and ask all the questions you want (including inquiries about possible discounts). Take a good look at the activities, quality of the care, food and rooms. Your own eyes are the best judges.
In conclusion, remember that your main goal is to match your parent’s specific needs with a facility that meets as many of these needs as possible. Make sure that the counselor you have chosen also sees this as his main objective.
For a list of facilities for elderly parents click here
The information presented in the english website is partial. For full info please visit our hebrew website