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With a variety of housing and care options available, choosing the right level of care or assistance for yourself or a loved one can feel overwhelming.

It is difficult to know where to begin the process, but we’re committed to providing the resources you need to make an informed decision.

In an effort to help you answer some of the questions you might face, we have provided information and guidelines for your reference below. Additionally, you can contact our case management department by calling 814.234.6153 for further assistance in assessing your needs and options.

Assessing Your Care Needs

Obtaining a practical and objective understanding of your care needs will be invaluable as you evaluate various housing and care choices.

Begin by asking questions of knowledgeable healthcare practitioners, such as physicians, therapists, dietitians and social workers who are familiar with your care needs and history. Conversations with these individuals may help you to better identify what kinds and how much care and assistance may be required.

Determine available financial resources and insurance coverage options. For questions about insurance, contact an APPRISE counselor. Many facilities and organizations offer a variety of services and levels of care options based upon consumer need and the ability to pay.

Once you have an understanding of what care requirements exist, coupled with what is financially affordable, you can begin to evaluate the various options in your area.

Researching Your Options

Whether it is home health services, adult daycare, skilled nursing care, respite care or independent living services, numerous credible websites offer a wealth of information. Our case management department can also provide lists of local providers and help families understand their choices.

Visiting the facility itself and asking questions of current residents and their family members is still the best way to determine whether or not the facility will meet your needs. Although facility appearance (cleanliness and decor) is important, you should ask practical questions regarding:

  • Staffing ratios (total number of direct patient care hours per day)
  • Staffing mix (total number of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants)
  • Staffing turnover issues
  • Available assistance during mealtime
  • Role of the medical director
  • Patient participation in the care-planning process
  • Recent facility survey history

This is not an all-inclusive list of discussion topics, but it may help you when you are comparing facilities.