There are scores of long term care facilities when the time comes, including adult family homes, assisted-living, skilled-nursing, and memory care. Experts note that none are exactly alike, and the key is knowing what to look for and how to find it.
To help, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources, a program of county government, is sponsoring â€œIf I Only Knew Then,â€ a free presentation in October on the process of picking a care facility. The discussion will cover such issues as how services are provided; surveys, reports and contracts; what residents can expect; and costs.
â€œIf I Only Knew Thenâ€ will be presented three times — twice on Oct. 8 (at 12:30 p.m. at the Pierce County Annex at 2401 S. 35th St. in Tacoma, and at 6:30 p.m. at the Lakewood branch of Pierce County Library System at 6300 Wildaire Road SW.), and once on Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sumner branch of Pierce County Library, 1116 Fryar Ave.
â€œWhen the need arises, we all want the best care possible,â€ said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources. â€œMost care facilities provide very good care and have staff that are dedicated to their work. Yet no two long-term facilities are the same, and many have a special focus. Itâ€™s important that families do their homework before moving into a facility.â€
The presentations by long-term care professionals and advocates will focus on researching options, investigating quality of care, understanding contracts, defining the total cost of services, and asking the right questions.
According to county officials, the sessions will be for information only. There wonâ€™t be any selling.
Information about the presentations is available from Aging and Disability Resources at 253-798-4600 or 800-562-0332.