What to Look for in a Senior Health Services Provider
Your health and well-being is of the utmost importance, especially as you get older. You need to be sure that all of your needs are being provided for. Often, that means finding a retirement community that provides senior health services. Finding a provider that can meet your specific needs is sometimes easier said than done. Fortunately, there are basic considerations that can help you secure the care you need and the quality of care you deserve.
What to consider when choosing a senior health services provider
Everyone’s needs are different. So when choosing a senior retirement community near you, everyone is going to have different needs, priorities and questions. But there are questions that every older adult should be asking of their senior health services provider, regardless of their needs. These universal considerations will go a long way toward helping you find the right community.
Find the right type of care
No two senior retirement communities are alike, especially when it comes to providing residents with different levels of care. One may offer a full continuum of care, with a wide range of health services available to residents should they ever require them. Others may only offer a fraction of those health services. When weighing the health services of a retirement community, you have to consider what your health needs are now and what they might be in the future. You may be able to live independently now, but you may need skilled nursing as you advance in age.
Look close to home
There is a comfort in being close to home. So if you are starting your search for a retirement community, look around you. Start with your neighborhood and expand outward to the surrounding area. Your options are going to vary based on location, but you may find what you’re looking for in your own backyard.
Consider the cost
The elephant in the room when considering a senior retirement community can often be cost. It can be a difficult conversation, but it is in your best interest not to avoid it. Make sure that any one-time entrance fee and recurring monthly fees are clear and transparent so that you can understand how much you will be spending and what that money will be paying for. Different communities will also offer different types of contracts depending on the services offered.
It would be a good idea to set a budget so that you can easily eliminate options outside of your price range and ensure you are choosing a community that is within your financial means.
What is the Medicare rating system?
The U.S Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services developed the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help older adults and their families and caregivers make a more informed decision when comparing senior living communities. The system uses a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the highest rating and 1 star being the lowest. Communities that are awarded a 5-star rating means they are considered above average in quality, whereas a 1-star rating means below average.
In addition to the overall rating, the Center for Medicare also provides separate ratings for three categories: Health Inspections, Staffing, and Quality Measures.
- Health Inspections is based on a community’s three most recent health inspections and investigations due to complaints.
- Staffing is calculated based on the number of hours of care provided on average to each resident each by a community’s nursing staff.
- Quality Measures is a determination of how well the community’s staff is caring for the physical and clinical needs of their residents.
Benefits of a CCRC like The Waterford
Quality is only part of the equation when it comes to calculating whether a senior retirement community is right for you. The type of care is of equal importance to the quality of care. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that every community offers the same levels of care. What you need is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), often called a Life Care community, that provides for the health and well-being of its residents now and into the future.
What sets a Life Care community apart? Its focus on providing a continuum of care. You may be able to live independently now, able to take full advantage of all the services and amenities a community has to offer. But what about in the future? Time has a way of sneaking up on us, and what you need today may not be what you need tomorrow. The health services at a Life Care community ensure that your needs are provided for, whether that means attentive care from a staff of skilled nurses or rehabilitation services while you recover from surgery.
The key to finding the right health services provider is to look for a community that is committed to ensuring its residents have access to the care they need when they need it. If you are interested in learning more about the health services at The Waterford, let’s chat. Fill out the form below or give us a call at 561-627-3800.