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Balancing Act

Balancing Act Archives
August, 2006: Family Snack Smarts
July, 2006: Cooperative Co-parenting
June, 2006: Street Proofing Teens 101
May, 2006: Harmony is in season: Harmony is in season: Warm Weather Activities To Bring The Family Together
April, 2006: Caregiving: Sensible Steps To Success
March, 2006: Healthy Eating In A Fast Food World
February, 2006: Stress Busters to Stay Lighthearted
January, 2006: Brain Gain in Life's Later Years
December, 2005: Holiday Budget Planning
November, 2005: Combating Childhood Obesity
October, 2005: Eating Away at Colds and Flu
September, 2005: Avoiding the Aches of Osteoarthritis
August, 2005: Growing Older, Eating Wiser
July, 2005: Nutrition Tips for the Healthiest Summer Ever
June, 2005: Long-Term Care Facilities/Nursing Homes - How Do I Choose the Right One?
May, 2005: Nutrition and Your Baby: Introducing solid food to the menu
April, 2005: When Baby Comes Home For The First Time
March, 2005: Stepping into the Role of Stepparent
February, 2005: Pumping Fitness into Your Day
* January, 2005: Remedies for Financial Holiday Hangovers
* December, 2004: Time Out: Making the most of the holidays
* November, 2004: An Ounce of Prevention: Type 2 Diabetes
* October, 2004: Dealing with Peer Pressure
* September, 2004: Long Distance Caregiving
* August, 2004: The ‘Be-tween’ Transition, 2004
* July, 2004: Easing into summer vacation
* June, 2004: A family-friendly balance for working fathers
* May, 2004: Communication Tips to Help Young Minds Grow
* April, 2004: Tips for Making the Tax Season Less Taxing
* March, 2004: The Dieting Merry-Go-Round
* February, 2004: Keeping Your Financial Future in Check
* January, 2004: Here Comes the Flu
* December, 2003: Communicating with your Teen
* November, 2003: Eating for Energy
* October, 2003: Work-life Balance: Making it Work for You
* September, 2003: The Homework Zone
* August, 2003: Health Hints to Ease Your Family in to the Fall Season
* July, 2003: Stay Alert and Stay Safe - Streetproofing your kids
* June, 2003: Summer Activities for Stay-at-Home Kids
* May, 2003: Helping Older Relatives Stay Active
* April, 2003: Spring-cleaning: For the home, the family, and you
* March, 2003: Choosing a Summer Camp
* February, 2003: Baby couch potatoes: Tearing your kids away from the TV
* January, 2003: Resolution Solutions
* December, 2002: Holiday Stress Blasters
* November, 2002: Beating the Winter Blues
* October, 2002: Making the most of family mealtimes
* September, 2002: Generation Relations
* August 2002: Vacation Relaxation
* July 2002: Swimming Safety
* May 2002: Stuck in the Middle. The Sandwich Generation
* April, 2002: Supporting Your Child's Social Success
* March, 2002: After the Spring Break ... Take a Break For Yourself
* February, 2002: Keep those loving connections alive
* January, 2002: Ringing in a Balanced New Year
* December, 2001: Holiday Safety Tips
* November, 2001: It's Flu Season
* October, 2001: Halloween Safety Tips
* September, 2001: Back to school

The Balancing Act. Work/Life balance tips Printer Friendly Version
Long-Term Care Facilities/Nursing Homes
How Do I Choose the Right One?

Selecting alternate living arrangements for a loved one is a process that requires thought, time and planning. With a variety of facilities available, the challenge lies in choosing one that's best suited to your loved one's needs. Here are a few tips that may help.

Talk to your loved one. Moving into an elder care facility is a major life change for both you and your loved one. Facilities can vary in size, location, price and service. They can also provide a variety of options in meals, medical services, nursing, and recreational activities.

Make a list of what your loved one is looking for in his or her new home. This can include things such as planned activities (day trips, arts and crafts, weekly music lessons, etc.), details on resident living quarters, and other available services. Involving your loved one in the decision making process, to the greatest extent of his or her ability, will help ease anxiety levels for everyone. If you empower your loved one to speak up for what he or she wants, this will give him or her a sense of control over the new living arrangement.

Do your research. It's important to take your time when choosing an eldercare facility. Collect sales brochures, make phone calls, visit Web sites and talk to family members or friends who have gone through a similar situation. Questions you should ask include:

  • What are the qualifications of the staff? Do they receive ongoing training?
  • How many complaints have been registered against the facility? Have they been resolved? (Then check with the governmental body that's in charge of regulating or accrediting the facility.)
  • How are medical emergencies handled? Is there a doctor on call?
  • Find out when the last time the facility was reviewed or reaccredited. Ask to see a copy of the review or re-accreditation report.

Find out as much information as you can and determine if each facility's offerings match your loved one's list of needs.

Consult with your loved one's physician. Some facilities require a current physical examination as part of the admissions process. With your loved one's consent, consider visiting his or her primary care physician to help identify which level of care your loved one needs. This can range from little or no healthcare support, to more extensive healthcare services such as the dispensation of prescription medicines or the need for nursing staff.

Discuss fees. Fees for eldercare facilities can vary. Discuss what services are covered in the fee with the Director of Resident Care. For example: does this include food, trips, nursing and other medical aids? Does the fee require a monthly payment or do you pay several months in advance? They should also inform you of what additional charges you may have for other services. These can include personal magazine or newspaper subscriptions, phone services and dry cleaning.

Plan a visit. Before making a final decision, make plans to visit several facilities to get a 'feel' for each place. Besides looking at the physical structure of the facility, it's also important to speak with staff and residents to get a better sense of the facility's general atmosphere. Ask some of the residents what their experience has been.

Find out about the facility's rules, regulations and policies. Review a copy of the contract or admissions agreement. Read this carefully and be aware of specific regulations the facility may have. Ask the facility about visitation hours, privacy for residents, ease of taking your loved one off site, and whether children and pets are allowed to visit. Understanding the facility's policies (particularly around visitations) will make keeping in touch with your elderly loved one a little easier.

Need more help selecting living arrangements for your loved one? Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help. You can receive support through a variety of resources, including your child-to-elder care service. Call your EAP to see if you are eligible at 1.800.387.4765 for service in English, 1.800.361.5676 for service in French.

This newsletter is meant for informational purposes only and may not necessarily represent the views of individual organizations.

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