Making the decision that elderly loved ones can no longer be on their own is a tough one. Once the decision has been made to move to a place that can take care of the needs of your elderly loved ones, you need to find the right place for them.
With all of the options it can seem like an overwhelming choice. There are some things that you can do to narrow down the options and choose the right nursing home.
Start with Location
As with anything, you want to start with the location of the nursing home. It should be centrally located so that all of your family can easily reach it. The internet is a great place to start. There are many resources, like this one, that will allow you to find a place within a certain number of miles based on area code.
Unless there is a particular medical need driving the choice of a specialty home, a list that begins geographically is a great place to start.
Read over the Online Ratings
Search links like the one above also give a great “at a glance” rating of each home that shows up on your geographical list. Sometimes, these ratings are generated by the search provider themselves. Other times they are based on resident and family experiences.
Carefully read over the ratings and make sure to understand where the ratings are coming from. Generate a short list of options and rate them yourself, based on the pros and cons that you found in the reviews.
As with any review on the internet, it may not fully reflect the quality of the home. If you find that something just doesn’t feel right about a rating that would lead you to include or exclude a potential from the list, remember that you can always narrow the list after you have visited the potentials.
Schedule Visits for Your Family and Loved One
Now that you have a manageable list, it is time to start visiting the homes. If your elderly loved ones are able to make the trips with you then take them along. Their opinions should factor into the decision as well. Remember not to set up too strenuous a schedule if you will be including them.
When you visit a nursing home, there are some key aspects you want to look over as you tour.
Safety – This can be a hard one to notice, but there are some things you can look for. Watch out for frayed rugs or other potential fall hazards. Look to make sure there are adequate walking rails and pathways.
Code Violations – Ask the administrator about any recent code violations. Facilities are inspected and rated on a regular basis, so these violations will be documents.
Staffing Levels – Is there enough staff there to service the needs of all of the residents? The higher the staffing, ratio the more care your loved one can expect to receive. Ask about staff turnover as well, to see how happy the staff is here.
Daily Activities – There should be regular activities scheduled for your loved ones if they become residents. Ask about those to get a feel for the daily routine.
Cost – While you may want to say that money is no object, cost can be an important factor. Make sure that it fits the budget that you have.
Once you have completed your visits, narrow your list and schedule a second visit. Make sure to schedule your second visit at a different time of day to get a feel for other staff members and how the facility operates at different times of day.
If You Fear Abuse, Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home abuse can happen, even if you spend time and effort trying to choose the best home. If it does, contact Freeburn and Law.