Mistakes to avoid when looking for a care facility

PIERCE COUNTY — Many families feel like they have been thrown into the fire when the need to find a care facility for themselves or a loved one. There are scores of long term care facilities throughout Pierce County – adult family homes, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and more. No two are alike. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. The key is knowing what to look for and how to find it.

Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is offering a free presentation called “If I Only Knew Then,” which provides a thorough introduction to the process families should consider when looking for a care facility. The discussion will cover how services are provided, costs of care, what residents can expect, how to read surveys, reports and contracts, and more.

“When the need arises, we all want the best care possible,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “The reality is that most facilities provide very good care and have staff that are dedicated to their work. Yet, no two long term care facilities are the same and many have a special focus. It’s important that families do their homework before moving into a facility.”

Presentations will be held three times in October:

  • Oct. 8 – 12:30 p.m. at the Pierce County Annex Building, 2401 S. 35th, Tacoma
  • Oct. 8 – 6:30 p.m. at the Lakewood Branch Library, 6300 Wildaire Road SW, Lakewood
  • Oct. 9 – 6:30 p.m. at the Sumner Branch Library, 1116 Fryar Ave., Sumner

“If I Only Knew Then” will focus on identifying needs and defining the total cost of services. The presentations will also discuss how to research available options, investigate quality of care, understand contracts, and ask the right questions. Presenters will share examples of good choices, as well as examples of common mistakes that cause the most problems. There will be significant time for questions and answers.

These presentations are sponsored by Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources, and will feature long term care professionals and advocates who understand the process and who regularly help families with these difficult decisions. They will also explain what options exist if promised services are not available.

Sessions are information only and no sales are offered or allowed. Events are free and open to the public. No RSVP is required. For more information about the presentations, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600 or 1-800-562-0332.

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