If you have made the difficult decision that nursing home care is the best option for your loved one, you must decide on the nursing home itself. Here are some of the issues to consider when choosing a nursing home.
Location, location, location.
This may seem obvious, but one of the most important aspects of an individual’s quality of life in a nursing home is receiving frequent visits from members of the family. When the nursing home is nearby, it’s easier for you and the rest of your family to visit. Similarly, if the nursing home is located relatively close to where your loved one lived previously, his or her former neighbors and friends will be more likely to visit.
On the most basic level, if your loved has specific physical needs, the nursing home must be able to address them. And what about emotional or spiritual needs? If your loved one is religious, for example, does the facility offer religious services?
Does the nursing home in question have references? Some facilities will allow you to contact family members of current residents to discuss the level of care provided by the nursing home. This is a good sign, and you should take advantage of the opportunity.
What does the research say?
You can find a wealth of information about specific nursing homes online. For example, you can purchase detailed nursing home reports by visiting Care Scout. Another Nursing Home Directory, allows you to search for nursing homes by zip code or city and compare facilities in the same geographic area.
How does the facility “feel” during your tour?
A well-dressed receptionist or nice chandelier in the lobby does not mean your loved one will receive the best possible care. Nor does a lack of fancy accessories mean he or she will be treated poorly. What matters most is the attitude of the staff, the demeanor of the residents, and the overall feeling you get as you tour the facility. Do the people working at the nursing home seem friendly and are they willing to answer your questions? Do the residents appear relaxed and comfortable? What is on the menu for dinner? Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, no matter how nice the facility appears, look elsewhere.