How to Choose the Best Nursing Home for Your Loved One
When a loved one needs to move to a nursing home to receive additional daily care, it's usually up to the children or other close family members to select the right facility. Often, their elderly loved one doesn't have the physical or mental capabilities to make this complicated, important decision.
If you're in this situation, you may feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped to find a good nursing home. Here, we share tips on how to find a care center that meets your family member’s needs with skill and compassion.
Tips for Finding a Good Nursing Home
Research a few different facilities. If your family member has specific medical or financial needs, you may want to prescreen for these issues. Once you narrow down your list, schedule visits to your top choices. Here are some factors to consider when visiting a nursing home:
- Location. Consider the location of the nursing home in relation to your family member’s doctor and preferred hospital. In addition, you want to be conscious of how far it is from family members who will visit your loved one.
- Building. Check the outside of the facility and common areas within it. Determine if the grounds are well-maintained and attractive, and if the common areas are clean, spacious, well-lit, and have different spaces for private conversations with guests. Another important aspect to evaluate is whether there are unpleasant odors or loud noises in the building.
- Resident rooms. Are the rooms attractive, well-lit, and cheerful? Ideally the rooms will have a window. Also check for handicap accessibility features and whether there are call buttons for help.
- Dining services. Review the menus over a few days to see how many meals are offered, the nutritional requirements, and what dietary needs the facility can accommodate. It's also good to know whether visitors can eat with your loved one.
- Activities. Be certain the nursing home offers your family member good, stimulating activities of interest. Many centers have a monthly schedule of activities that you can look at and specific activity rooms to inspect.
- Services. Spend some time observing the staff to see how it interacts with patients. You also want to find out what services, such as physical therapy and doctors, are provided on site, and what transportation the nursing home offers to its residents for doctor appointments, shopping, and other activities. If your loved one needs special care or may need it in the future, discuss with the facility administration what anticipated services he or she may need.
- Cost. The cost of the nursing home is almost always a major concern. You need to know what the basic fees are and how they could increase as your family member needs more care. In addition, find out what happens when your loved one runs out of money except for Social Security. Also educate yourself about the dangers of financial abuse in nursing homes.
Share this article on Facebook to help others know how to find the best care center for their loved ones. And if your family member had problems in a previous nursing home with abuse or neglect, fill out the contact form on this page to arrange for a free consultation with Alan Morton.
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