Even though you or other family members may have been caring for a loved one that has Parkinson’s during the early stages of the disease when that person develops advanced Parkinson’s it might be necessary to find a long term care facility for your loved one where he or she can get the kind of medical care and attention that you and your family members just can’t provide. It’s a good idea to start looking for long term care facilities before your loved one goes into the advanced stage if you can so that you have time to look around and compare facilities before making a choice.
There are two different types of care available at most nursing homes and long term care facilities. Basic care is exactly what the name implies, non medical care that is designed to address the person’s basic needs like eating, bathing, dressing and so on. If your loved one is having trouble swallowing, dressing themselves, or bathing but doesn’t have any serious medical conditions as a result of the Parkinson’s then Basic care is probably all that he or she will need. If your loved one has more serious medical problems as a result of the Parkinson’s, such as dementia or a condition that requires regular medical attention then you will need to find a facility that offers Skilled Care. Skilled Care is having doctors or nurses available to treat your loved one and carry out any tests or other medical procedures. Once you have decided which type of care is right for your loved one it’s time to start looking at some health care facilities. Keep these tips in mind as you search for a reliable long term care facility:
Do your homework in advance – There is a wide range of healthcare services available at most long care facilities and it can be very confusing for family and friends of someone with Parkinson’s to know what services and care their loved one might need. So before you start calling or visiting facilities sit down with your loved one’s doctor and talk about what type of care your loved one needs now and may need in the future. Knowing what your loved one needs in advance will make it easier to choose a long term care facility.
Get recommendations – When it comes to the reputation of long term care facilities nothing beats personal recommendations, especially when your loved one has a disease like Parkinson’s. Ask other people in your support group or in your network of family and friends who have also have loved ones that have Parkinson’s what long term care facilities they liked and what ones they didn’t like and why.
Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions – Busy long term care facilities can sometimes try to brush off questions asked by the family and friends of prospective residents but don’t be afraid to demand answers to your questions. You are entrusting that facility with the care of your loved one and you have a right to ask as many questions as you need to. Ask about the experience of the staff members and how comfortable they are dealing with residents that have Parkinson’s. Ask what the security at the facility is like, and any other questions that might have an impact on your loved one’s health or safety. If a facility that you are considering is unwilling to answer your questions then you should keep looking.