You want the best for your loved one, but you also have your own obligations that make providing full-time care impossible. Selecting a nursing home for your loved one may be the most logical next step, but it’s still a stressful process. Ideally, you will have some time to research different facilities and find the best match for your needs. However, many families are forced to make nursing home placement choices unexpectedly following a sudden change in care requirements.
We’ll go over some tips for choosing the right place, so you can make an informed decision for your family.
What to Consider Before You Choose a Nursing Home
If your relative is able to make their wishes clear, it’s important to listen to their input when selecting the right facility for them. Otherwise, the points below will help you make the best choice on their behalf:
Location is the first point to consider while selecting a nursing home for your loved one. It’s best if you can find a place that’s close to where you live, so you can see them often. Otherwise, try to choose a home that’s easy driving distance for another trusted family member.
It goes without saying that you’ll want your loved one to feel at home where they live. If you have time, tour some different facilities and take a good look at the main buildings, common spaces, and rooms. Ask to see the long-term units to ensure that they’re comfortable and provide a nice atmosphere where your relative will feel at home. Safety is another important factor in this category. Look for evidence of well-maintained equipment and safety protocols.
The size of a nursing home is another important factor to consider. If your loved one is outgoing and sociable, they may fit in better at a larger facility with more people. A location with plenty of outdoor space is another major bonus as it will add variety to your relative’s stay there.
A quality nursing home will offer a wide selection of activities including games, educational material, and chances to socialize. If your loved one has any disabilities, you’ll want to ensure that the facility provides activities suitable for them. Physical health is also important, so exercise options on site are a plus. Speak with the activity director at the home you’re touring and find out how they plan to care for your loved one.
All nursing homes provide long-term services, but specific care offered will vary from place to place. If your loved one has specific needs (such as dementia), it’s best to choose a place with a specialized unit for dementia patients.
The daily dining experience at a nursing home makes a major difference in the quality of life for residents. Your loved one will probably feel more satisfied with their new home if they can choose from different meal options, for example. If they have special dietary needs, check to ensure the facility will accommodate that. It’s best to visit a nursing home during mealtime so you can see the dining experience for yourself.
Staff members make a huge difference when it comes to the quality of a nursing home. Before choosing where your loved one will live next, spend some time around the staff at the facility you’re considering. Do they have a good attitude and display patience as you ask questions? Do you see friendly, warm interactions between the staff and residents at the home? If you can find a facility with employees who have worked there a long time, that’s a good sign.
Having access to different options is a must for maintaining a sense of independence after moving to a nursing home. As long as your loved one is mentally and physically able, they should have a choice when it comes to activities, meals, television, and more. If possible, try to avoid a facility that controls every aspect of the resident’s lives, and instead find one that gives them options. This will help them feel more engaged in life.
Fortunately, the Internet makes it easier than ever to learn all you need to know about a business. Before you choose a home for your loved one, search the facility online and see how they’re rated. Reading over reviews left by other families can give you a clearer idea of what to expect.
If you have enough time to check out several facilities, it’s best to shop around before you choose one. Ask plenty of questions, make sure to visit during mealtimes, and get a feel for the staff at each nursing home. You may want to visit the location a second time without an appointment, just to see how things run on a day-to-day basis. Once you select the right nursing home for your loved one, carefully check the contract before you sign.