Focus on Person-Centered Care Questions

Are you choosing your next home as a senior, or helping a parent choose? The Pioneer Network offers a great set of questions to ask facility management and caregivers. These questions will help you sift facilities and find the staff committed to caring for residents with honor and respect. The questions themselves are eye-opening—you may not have thought to ask something as basic as “am I allowed to get up when I want?” That’s exactly the sort of autonomy we’ve grown accustomed to as adults, but we may be pressured to give up in a communal living setting.

The difficulty is that a facility that can give the “right” answers to these questions is likely to be among the more expensive, and may have an extensive waiting list. And you may be under intense time pressure when you’re reviewing these facilities, if you or your loved one must find an immediate place following a sudden change in health status, for example.

In addition to these questions, turn to Minnesota’s Senior LinkAge Line and other state-funded resources such as the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. And do your planning now: If you tackle finding a facility before you are under pressure to find an immediate place, then you can make the best use of the information the Pioneer Network’s questions will turn up for you, continuing the search if a facility’s answers show it does not offer person-centered care, its costs are outside your budget, or you’ll have to join its wait list.
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f you need help evaluating living facilities, for yourself or an elder you know, please give me a call at 651-280-0002. I can put you in touch with great resources and, if desired, help you strategize how to pay the costs and live well in your new place.