Choosing the Right Nursing Home for Your Loved One

Nursing homes are a valuable service available for aging individuals who are no longer able to live alone. While some families move a loved one into their own home, often times a nursing home is the best option.

Choosing the right facility can be an overwhelming, stressful, and emotional experience, particularly knowing that seniors are a vulnerable demographic, at risk for elder abuse. By carefully weighing your options and doing research, you can help keep your loved one safe. When choosing a nursing home, consider the following during your search:

Level of Care Needed

The right type of nursing home facility greatly depends on a senior’s health. If your loved one has health concerns such as memory loss or limited mobility, a nursing home that runs more like a hospital may be a better fit. Such facilities often have specialized units devoted to memory issues like Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

If a senior does well on their own, but is still unable to live alone, they may be happiest in a facility that has more of a residential atmosphere, offering assistance and encouraging independence. While it may be difficult to decide what level of care is needed, as you and your loved one may have differing opinions, it’s a good idea to meet with a medical professional for an opinion.

Touring Nursing Homes

Once you have determined the appropriate level of care needed for your senior, you should start visiting nursing homes. Just like house hunting, this can be a long and arduous process, but try to take your time and keep your priorities in mind; the wellbeing of your loved one. When searching for nursing home facilities, it’s a good to ask for recommendations in your community, such as family and friends or even medical professionals.

Once you have a list of places to visit, do some research and read reviews before you visit. While this may or may not influence your first visit, it will help you to take notice of certain things. When touring a nursing home for the first time, pay attention to the following:

  • Follow Your Senses: What do you hear, see, or smell? Are any of the things you are witnessing unpleasant or disturbing? Follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, make note of that. If you notice any signs of elder abuse,
  • Ask Questions: It’s your responsibility to ask questions. Although you may feel overwhelmed by all the information given to you at one time, you should have a list of questions made out ahead of time. If you witness anything strange, don’t disregard it. Ask someone and see how they answer. If they seem to be covering something up with an excuse, it may be a red flag.
  • Observe Staff Relations: Without being too intrusive, observe the way that staff treats one another as well as residents. Are they respectful? Patient? Kind?
  • Visit Again: If you have found a place you think is suitable for your loved one, visit the facility again. Take note of the same things and observe any changes. As you would with any new home, chances are you would visit more than once.

Talk to Your Loved One

One of the most important things to consider, is your loved one’s opinion. Depending on his or her mental, physical, and emotional health, it may be difficult for him or her to communicate true feelings. Moving into a new place can be an emotional experience for anyone. Try to consider their feelings before making a final decision. Choosing the right nursing home is vital to enjoying the next stage in your senior’s life.

Posted on: April 8, 2015, by : admin

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