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Choosing a LTC Facility

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In many cases, when a loved one begins to need more care than the family is able to provide, the family's only option is to place that person in a facility. To choose a facility that is appropriate for your loved one, you must consider a number of factors, such as:

Then take these steps for each facility you are considering ...

1) Visit

If you can, time your visits so you can observe mealtimes and meal service. Also try to visit in the evening or on a weekend so you can observe whether the facility has enough staff at those times.

2) Talk to families

Ask whether the facility has a family council. If so, speak with representatives of the council. Be sure to ask

3) Get information from CMS

Use the Nursing Home Compare website of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to check the facility's staffing levels, results of past surveys, and other regulatory information.

CMS has developed quality measures to make it possible to compare the performance of nursing homes. Information about these measures is available on the CMS website. The Nursing Home Compare site uses quality measures to help you choose the best facility for your loved one.

Some of these measures are:

Visit the Nursing Home Compare Website

4) Get information from OLTC

The Office of Long Term Care surveys each facility every 9 to 15 months (for a statewide average of once every 12 months). The survey is a "snapshot" evaluation of the care provided in the facility. Our survey teams always include at least one registered nurse and other professional staff. We also investigate complaints made by the public.

Ask OLTC for copies of:

5) Check what is posted

Facilities are required to post the results of the most recent OLTC survey and the OLTC Complaint Hotline number, which is (800) 582-4887. They also must post on each hallway a list of staff available.

6) Stay involved

Like all organizations, facilities change over time. After your loved one is placed, visit often, keep asking questions, and stay involved.

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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