Selecting the appropriate nursing facility, also known as a nursing home, can be a challenging decision when considering the care of a parent. It’s important to recognize that no nursing home is flawless.
Nursing homes are typically selected when older adults are suffering from different illnesses due to old age or disabilities that hinder their ability to live independently or when they need specialized medical care that cannot be adequately provided in other settings. There are situations where the level of care required cannot be administered at home or in a less intensive environment, such as assisted living, making a nursing home a necessary option.
When searching for a suitable nursing home, it’s essential to prioritize finding a facility that offers excellent care, ensures the safety of your family members, and addresses their health and support requirements effectively.
With that said, let’s take a look at some tips that can help you find a perfect nursing home for your aging parents:
Take the Time to Research
When it comes to registering your parents at a nursing home, you must perform thorough research. Before that, here are some questions to consider:
- How well can they take care of themselves physically and mentally?
- Do they require assistance with any ongoing medical issues?
- Are they experiencing memory problems, or could they benefit from memory care?
- How is their social life and support from friends?
- Can they move around without help?
- Are they able to manage their hygiene?
It’s also crucial to remain vigilant about nursing home negligence, which involves instances of substandard care or failures to fulfill responsibilities that result in harm to residents and their overall well-being. Negligence can take various forms, including medical negligence, neglect of basic needs, and lapses in personal hygiene care. Fortunately, individuals who have experienced nursing home neglect have the option to seek legal assistance.
In light of these concerns, experts strongly recommend conducting thorough research for those seeking the best care for their parents. They advise both prospective residents and their families to review government records and personally inspect facilities. Furthermore, they caution against making hasty decisions in this critical matter.
Contact each facility on your list. Inquire about their resident population, pricing, and any waiting lists they may have. Ask any questions you may have about their services. Every nursing home has its imperfections, and each will likely be quite distinct from a person’s current residence. The transition to living in a nursing home can be anxiety-inducing and disheartening. It may evoke feelings of betrayal and inadequacy. In this process, family involvement plays a vital role in assisting the older adult. Families can provide companionship and aid with everyday tasks if desired. They can also be more adept at communicating with and comforting the older adult while offering valuable insights to the staff regarding the resident’s behavior.
Schedule a Visit to the Facility
Experts emphasize that don’t be distracted by the allure of fancy furnishings, as they may not necessarily indicate the quality of care provided. Instead, families can pay attention to more minor details: Are the residents well-groomed and actively engaged in activities? Do they appear comfortable and content? Do staff members address residents by their names? It’s advisable to gather as much information about the facility as possible.
The range of healthcare services offered by nursing homes can vary significantly from one region to another. For example, if your loved one requires speech therapy, has diabetes, or needs specialized dietary support, it’s crucial to ensure that the facility can cater to all of these specific needs. Seek a nursing home that can provide the appropriate level of care that aligns with your loved one’s particular requirements.
Typical medical services may include:
- Wound care
- Physical, speech, or occupational therapy
- Catheter care
The nursing home’s location is a critical factor in the decision-making process. Even if a nursing facility meets all other criteria, it may not be a practical choice if it is not in a suitable location. Consider factors like the feasibility of in-person visits and the time it takes to reach the facility. Is it within driving distance, or would you need to take a long route? These considerations hold significant importance, especially for family members who may be dealing with feelings of isolation. You should assess whether the location and its proximity to other family members are a priority for your decision-making process.
Financial Factors and Affordability Assessment
Assess the financial aspects, which include examining the expenses associated with care, available payment methods, and insurance coverage. Seek information regarding any extra charges or services that are not included in the standard fees. Engage in discussions about financial matters with a financial advisor and explore government aid programs, long-term care insurance, and eligibility for medical aid to confirm that the selected facility aligns with your budget.
Consider your Priorities
What matters most to you? Is it nursing care, meals, physical therapy, a spiritual connection, hospice services, or specialized care units for individuals with dementia? Are you looking for a location near your family and friends so they can easily visit? Consider all these factors and then decide what you are looking for: your parents in a nursing home. Make sure you have all the answers to your questions.
Selecting the most suitable nursing home demands planning and comprehensive research. By understanding care requirements and preferences, conducting comprehensive research, visiting and evaluating nursing facilities, examining staffing levels and quality standards, assessing resident rights and family engagement, taking financial considerations into account, and relying on your instincts, you can make an informed decision. Keep in mind that the ideal nursing home aligns with the individual’s distinct needs, fosters a nurturing atmosphere, and places a high value on the welfare and quality of life of its residents.