Finding a Quality Nursing Home
The decision to move into a nursing home or move your loved one into a home is not easy. And with so many accounts of nursing home neglect and abuse around the country, it can make the task even more daunting. Despite these accounts and claims, there are many qualified, caring nursing homes to be found. It’s just a matter of knowing what to look for.
Here are some tips to help you find a quality nursing home for you or your family member:
Find homes in your area
The journey to finding the right nursing home begins with looking for homes in your area. Try asking trusted friends and loved ones who have gone through the process with their own parent or grandparent. They may have recommendations for your search, and their experience can help you narrow down your options. You can also ask your doctor or your loved one’s doctor if there’s a home they recommend.
Once you find homes in your homes, look for a location convenient to as many family members as possible so that you or your parent can have plenty of visitors during their stay.
Compare the homes you find
Once you have a list of homes in your area, do some research and compare each home. The home should be Medicare and Medicaid certified. Researching online can speed the process of choosing a home, saving time by allowing you to rule out certain options before making a visit to the facility.
From information on the nursing home’s website to review sites, the Internet can be a great help in the beginning stages of your search. If the cost of the nursing home is not posted somewhere online, call the home and ask about rates to make sure it is in your price range. You can also ask about payment plans and options.
Visit the homes
After completing your online research and narrow down your options to a few homes, you should visit each of them to evaluate their quality of care. Visiting the home gives you the best chance of seeing what you or your loved one’s life and daily routine would be like in the home.
There are certain things you should look for and consider while touring the home. Firstly, you want to make sure the home is certified. While this can typically be done online, you may ask the staff or administrator to see the home’s licensure and certifications to ensure that it is a qualified care facility.
Next, you want to check the conditions of the space, including cleanliness and safety. Are there handrails in the hallways and bathrooms? Are there enough staff members on the shift, or do staff members seem overworked?
Speaking of staff, pay attention to the ways the staff interacts with patients. Listen to the way they speak to and address the patients to ensure they are being treated in a respectful way. And if you notice that staff members are often giggling with each other in the corner instead of interacting with patients, it could be a sign that patients aren’t treated as a priority.
In addition to the staff, observe the people living in the home. Does it appear their basic and more specialized needs, such as dietary restrictions, are being met? Are they social with one another, or more withdrawn? Observing their daily routines and activities will help you understand what your daily life or your parent’s daily life will look like.
Lastly, there are some questions you should consider posing to the staff or administrator.
- How much independence will I (or my loved one) have when it comes to choosing a daily routine, i.e getting up, going to sleep, bathing?
- Are there visiting hours, or can visitors come at any time?
- What activities and entertainment are provided for patients?
- Will I (or a loved one) be able to participate in religious, social, and recreational activities?
- Can able patients leave the facility if they want? Are there procedures for doing so?
- Can patients decorate their rooms to their liking?
- Are pets allowed?
You will also want to ask questions pertaining to you or your family member’s particular needs, like medical, dietary, or other specifications.
Choose the one that best meets your needs
After conducting your research then visiting the nursing homes on your list and asking the necessary questions, you will likely have a good idea of which home best suits your needs. The main criteria the nursing home should meet include: quality (as well as quantity) of the staff, the home’s adherence to meet health and safety standards, and the home’s ability to perform adequate medical and behavioral measures, such as social activities and providing flu shots.
Then comes the issue of affordability, which should be a discussion with your family, as well as the nursing home administrator, who may be able to accommodate you with payment plans or other payment options. If you consider these criteria and still cannot choose, pick the nursing home where you or loved one will feel comfortable and at home.
As a family member, you should visit often once your parent or grandparent moves in to help keep their spirits up. When you do visit, continue to keep an eye on your loved one, looking out for potential signs of abuse or neglect.
By following these tips, you should be able to find a quality nursing home where you or your loved one will receive compassionate, professional care and live a happy, sociable life.