ACT – Plan Ahead for Elder Care

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 60% of all nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. With these rates, Special Care Units (SCUs) exist within many nursing homes and long-term care facilities to better meet the needs of this specific population.long term care

As families turn to nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities for the care of their loved ones, they are often faced with a myriad of decisions. The National Institute on Aging offers several tips for finding the right type of care facility for your loved one. The most important tips can be broken down to the acronym ACT.


It is okay to ask questions of potential care facilities and staff – a lot of questions. The quality and nature of the answers (or lack of good answers) will help inform your decision. Also, tap into existing networks of friends, relatives, social workers, medical professionals, and even clergy for suggestions. Chances are that someone you know has been through a similar situation with an aging loved one, and may be able to provide useful advice.


Use the suggestions from family and loved ones to compile a list of facilities that are recommended. From this list, begin calling each facility. Think of all pertinent questions including location, care options, cost, quality, and available programs. Again, the more questions asked up front the better informed your decision will be. No one can foresee the future; all you can do is make the most informed decision possible.


This one involves face-to-face interaction that must take place with an actual visit to the facility. Ask residents and staff about the care. Chat with them about how well they enjoy working or living in the facility. Carefully observe the interactions between residents and staff while visiting. Does it seem that residents’ well-being is a priority, and that they are made to feel welcome and cared for? Finally, while meeting and greeting staff members, ask how long they have been with the facility. When key staff members such as the director of the facility, head of nursing, or food preparation seem to change often, that may indicate an issue.

Asking, calling, and talking are helpful in determining which options may be best in caring for an elderly loved one. It might also be helpful to consult with a lawyer familiar with cases of nursing home neglect or abuse prior to visiting a facility, and especially before agreeing to admit a family member. Atlanta attorneys Brownstein & Nguyen have years of experience dealing with the difficult situations that arise in cases of nursing home neglect and elder abuse. Contact Brownstein & Nguyen for a free consultation today.