How to Choose the Right Nursing Home
by Gary Sattin on Oct 08, 2022
There may come a day when you decide that it’s time for your loved one to go to a nursing home. This is the place where they’ll be settling down and spending the majority of their time. As such, it’s best to do everything possible to make sure that they’re living somewhere that offers the best possible quality of living. It’s incredibly important you conduct the proper research when looking for their new home. It should be a place that’s comfortable, safe, and has a staff that can fulfill all the needs of their residents. To help you successfully carry out this task, we created a guide on choosing the right nursing home.
It’s safe to assume that you plan on visiting your loved one regularly, which naturally means the location is an important consideration. Having to travel an hour or so to visit your loved one—especially in bad weather—is far from ideal. Your loved one may also not want to be too far from an area they’re familiar with, and their needs are ultimately the most important. While you may want to start your search with nearby locations, only choose one a home if it meets every single one of your needs.
Ask for Referrals
If you know anyone with a loved one in a nursing home, begin your search by asking them about their experiences. Do they like where they’re at, or is there any area in which they find it lacking? It’s best to collect this information to decide if you’d like to prospect the same homes and get advice from someone with prior experience.
Take a Tour
It’s incredibly important you visit the nursing home in question enough times to get an accurate feel of the area. You want to see if the home is consistent in how it treats residents, and it’s helpful to see how it operates at different times of the day. There are several things to look out for when taking your tour, including the following:
- It’s a well-maintained area
- It’s accessible and there are clear exits
- The residents are well-groomed
- The sizes of rooms and beds
- How the staff treats the residents
- The area seems homey and comfortable
When you’re taking your tour, chat with other residents and staff members. Evaluate their responses and how willing they are to accommodate your questions.
Consider Services and Accommodations
It’s important to know the extent to which the nursing staff will care for your loved one’s individual needs. The staff needs to know that, like everyone else in this world, each resident has routines and needs that are unique to them. Some patients may require assistance standing, while others may suffer from incontinence and require a consistent supply of water-proof fitted briefs. Whatever these needs are, it’s important to understand that a nursing home should never be a one-size-fits-all situation. Some necessary accommodations may include the following:
- Dietary needs
- Medication schedules
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Trained nurses
It’s imperative your loved one moves into a safe environment, meaning you should ensure all the necessary safety precautions are in place. First, check all staff members are aware of what to do in the case of an emergency, including the ability to perform CPR and assist someone who falls. Other safety features you want to be on the lookout for include:
- Fire and carbon monoxide detectors
- Fire extinguishers
- A sprinkler system
- Clear exit signs
- An extensive security system, including alarms and cameras
- Proper lighting
- Secure handrails
Depending on their mental and physical state, your loved one is going to require some measure of social interaction. Additionally, they’ll need an allowance to practice any hobbies they may have. Make sure your loved one doesn’t have to stay in the same couple of rooms every day— especially when they can still perform all the activities they enjoy. In fact, a good nursing home may take residents on field trips and have a well-stocked, spacious activity room.
Get to Know the Staff
We recommend chatting with the staff when visiting and take the time to perform thorough research on them. It’s helpful to know the experience of the staff members, as well as how many are work at the home. The required amount depends on how capable residents are, though many set the standard of one staff member for every two residents. You want to be sure that there are enough staff members because you don’t want every direction and extra stress prevents them from concentrating. It’s important to also know they aren’t short or rude to any of the residents.
While all of the above points are extremely important considerations, there are several things to look for when prospecting a nursing home. As a result, you should ask as many questions as you can from everyone involved in the process—and this includes your loved one, as this will impact their life the most. The points below are some miscellaneous items that we don’t cover in-depth, but you may want to look into further.
- How many and what personal artifacts do they allow into the home
- The financial process what your insurance will or will not cover
- The different types of additional employees that the home may employ, such as hairdressers or dance instructors
- How doctor visits will work
- Transportation details
- Any regulations and restrictions regarding visits. Additionally, whether your loved one will have time to leave and go home with you for a while
Don’t Stop Looking
This is an extremely important process. One of the best ways to be sure you make the right choice is to have a thorough understanding of all the different options. You want to have several perspectives so you can weigh different pros and cons against each other. Ultimately, we’re sure that you’ll find the perfect home for your loved one, and that they can live out their golden years in the ultimate comfort.