Food. Beds. Entertainment. Medical policies. There are lots of things to consider when choosing a nursing home. Not only is it an important decision, but also a pricey one that will determine a loved one’s future lifestyle. By identifying the most important factors regarding nursing home care, you’ll be more prepared to make the choice that’s right for your senior loved one. Consider the six tips below as you search for the best facility.
Reports and reviews
A great first step to choosing a nursing home is to look up reports and reviews for nursing homes in your area. These resources typically provide information about staff, sanitation, comfort, and other important information. This will help you identify any red flags before you begin seriously considering specific facilities.
Your loved one’s health should be at the top of your list of concerns for his or her well-being. Speak with your loved one’s doctor to identify what kind of long-term care your loved one needs—therapy, rehab, medication, etc. Then you can call facilities or look at facility websites to see which offer the services your loved one needs.
Every nursing facility is different, so it’s important to evaluate your budget before you begin searching. Costs can vary by state, care plan, healthcare, medical needs, and other services that may not be included in the regular payments. As you determine a budget, talk with your loved one about what services are important to him and what kind of environment would be most comfortable.
Activities will play a big role in your loved one’s quality of life at a nursing home. Activities can include a variety of options, such as walks in the park, art time, excursions outside of the nursing home, movies, and pampering services. According to AARP, “A quality nursing home is going to have a daily calendar of activities in which your parent can participate. If your parent is room-bound, activities should be brought to his or her room.” You’ll also want to consider what transportation services are offered and how frequently visitors can come.
You’ll also want to research and observe the caliber of the staff working at each nursing home. Evaluate whether or not they’re friendly, professional, and attentive to each patient. Avoid nursing homes where staff seem overworked or irritable. These people will be interacting with your loved one every day, so you want to make sure they treat their patients well.
Visiting perspective facilities is crucial to choosing a nursing home. Scheduling a visit will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the facility’s food, safety, cleanliness, atmosphere, rooms, and staff. Take a tour and spend time asking the facility director any other questions you might have.
You want to ensure your loved one gets the care she needs and desires, at a good price and in a good environment. Use these tips to help you narrow down the choices and choose a nursing home that’s right for her.