Choosing a Long-Term Care Community

Allowing someone else to tend to a loved one for us is one of the hardest decisions we may ever make. Efforts to find providers that meet identified needs, create a sense of community, and match your philosophy of supportive assistance can help you make the right choices for long-term care.

Identify Needs

The level of support needed depends on the condition of those requiring services. Assistance with daily activities such as eating, bathing, and dressing is only one aspect of support. In evaluating options, you need to make sure all needs are addressed. Those with dementia or a similar debilitating disease may need constant assistance with routine tasks and extra attention to address safety issues. Individuals with serious medical conditions such as cancer may need intensive services, from treatments to end-of-life comfort. Some individuals simply are of advanced age and have minor health issues such as arthritis or limited mobility, which may require exercise and rehabilitation activities. These residents may also be able to engage in social and recreational activities. As a result, facilities and programs would need to contain a variety of such services to properly enrich and engage those receiving assistance.

A Home-Like Feeling

Whether or not you decide to pursue residential long-term care or home health options and day programs, the idea of such support is to enrich and better a person’s home life or create a home-like environment in a supportive setting. Fostering a sense of home and community for those receiving assistance allows them to feel like they belong as opposed to feeling like a burden. These environments allow for relative independence, activities of varied interests and abilities, assistance with basic needs, and a place for family and friends to visit and stay connected to the lives of those under care. The right agency and program can provide this sense of community.


The approach to service, or philosophy, of facilities and providers may help determine the right fit for your needs. There are many types of associations that provide aid to those individuals needing daily support.

– Medical care services such as nursing homes and home health agencies primarily focus on addressing medical needs through rehabilitation efforts or tending to chronic conditions.

– Other retirement communities provide holistic systems that follow residents through the stages of their lives. They are able to change accommodations and services as individuals age or deteriorate in health as a way of honoring a commitment to seeing people through their lifespans. These facilitates may provide recreation and activities for active residents and intensive medical support services for those of advanced age.

– Faith-based organizations provide a variety of medical and residential services with a spiritual approach that offers ministerial programs for clients and residents. These communities help individuals stay in touch with their faith, which can be a great comfort for those displaced from family and friends or those who are experiencing serious medical issues.

When deciding on long-term care options, you can examine these various approaches to find the one that matches your ideals. When you recognize that a loved one needs more extensive care than you can provide, you want to make sure they enter a facility that will truly give them the best medical and emotional support possible.