7 Tips How to Choose A Residential Care Facility

Dropping by a residential care facility would only give you a quick look of its setting.

Before visiting potential custodial care homes, you must first identify the needs of your loved one. Making a checklist of his/her needs and concerns will make it easier for you to identify if a certain residential care facility will be the best place to fulfill the need of a comfortable and healthy environment other than your home.

Considering that there are no federal standards for small-scale care homes, it is important to do a thorough research on each potential residential care facility. Oftentimes, there should be legit surveys given by the state for each residential care facility. Be sure to check on this so that you’ll get a proper head start on your way to finding the right one, you can do so by calling your state’s department of aging for information or by simply asking each residential care facility for its legit survey.

Keep in mind that fascinating exterior facades nor the star quality interior of a certain facility will NOT automatically yield to quality care. While the potential residence’s surroundings are pleasant, the caregiver’s competence and willingness to give good service are still the two most essential components of quality care.  

residential care

Useful tips to Ideal Residential Care Facility 

1 Familiarize yourself with the care staff.

It is important to know the experience of the owner and caregivers, check them and ask for reference. By this, you’ll have an idea of their capabilities to take care of the needs of their patients. And not only that, also pay attention to their positive approach, a happy and smiling caregiver results to happy residents.

2 Make sure that open communication with the caregivers can be attained.

Effective communication with the staff will not only give you a clear understanding on what happens inside the residential care facility but will also make it easier for you know what are the on-going needs of your loved one who is under their care and supervision.

3 Survey the ease for transportation within the facility’s area.

It is better if there are easy ways to get to medical appointments and even to activities outside the facility such as churches, parks and the likes.

4 Find out how the facility manages the residents’ health and lifestyle.

Determine if the staff caregivers are living in with the residents or working on shifts. An ideal residential care facility should have an RN on-site at all times together with an RN supervisor. Also ask for the staff-to-resident ratio. Notice how the staff interacts with the residents and take time to observe the appearance of their current patients, this will give you a hint if they are given quality care. Spend time in observing the residents while doing their activities within the facility. When it comes to medications, ask whether the staff administer them or they just simply remind the patients to take meds. For prescription drugs, check if it will be refilled and picked up by the staff. And basically, residential care facilities should be orderly and clean.

5 Double-check the security measures especially for patients with dementia.

Safety comes first at all times. Check for restrictions and surveillance mostly when your loved one is in need of special security measures due to his/her condition.

6 Determine if the meal options will suit your loved one’s preference.

Appropriate meals depend on the patient’s needs and choices. Make sure that this will be met by the residential care home as this is vital in daily living.

7 And of course, determine if it fits your budget.

See if the monthly rates as well as other extra fees are cost-effective for you. Know if you will need to pay out-of-pocket or if they accept Medicaid. Some assisted living facilities have their residents pay with long-term care insurance and some pay themselves.


Don’t hesitate to ask any concern you have in mind and make it a point that it will all be answered before you choose the right home.

It’s better to consider checking out several residential care facilities before opting to stay with your final choice.

Once you have chosen the ideal senior care community, you may consider to do an un-announced 2nd visit after your 1st scheduled appointment with the facility. This is to know what is really going on inside the walls when a visitor is not expected to come, but make sure to be respectful of the residents in the home by not visiting too early in the morning or during the dead hours of the night.


Call us if you have any questions:

Harmony Guest Home – 503-928-6937 or email us at: info@harmonyguesthome.com

Watch some useful tips of how to choose a residential care facility.