Finding a nursing home for you or a loved one isn’t an easy process. As we discussed in Nursing Homes: Everything You Need To Know – Part 1, you will need to take your time and know exactly what a nursing home is and find which one is the best fit for you or your loved one.
In part 2, we are going to discuss how to break down the searching process and skim through the different nursing home options that you will have.
Find a vareity of nursing homes
As mentioned before, finding the right nursing home isn’t an overnight process or a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. During this process, you should learn as much information as possible about each nursing home you come across and then use the information to help narrow down your final choices.
Obtain as many referrals as possible. More than likely, you will have family or friends who have made the decision about long term care or know some who has. Ask friends, family and coworkers if they know any places that they would recommend. Ask them as many questions as possible to get their honest opinion. Let them know your situation and what type of place you are looking for. You may be surprised by how much information and reviews you can gather during this process.
Educate yourself with online resources. We all know the Internet is a customers best friend. The Internet is chuck full of reviews about products and services, but did you know there are places that you can read reviews about senior care options such as nursing homes? Care Compare is a great place to get these reviews and information about local nursing homes. It’s important to read through these reviews and get a better understanding about how others view the nursing homes you are looking into.
Take yours or your loved ones medical needs into consideration. This is very important because not all nursing homes care for the same type of illnesses or conditions. Some may specialize is Alzheimer’s disease while another one might only offer care for people who need minimal medical supervision and little assistance.
Factor in distance. When you place a loved one into a nursing home, you don’t want them to feel alone. When looking at nursing homes, it’s important that you try to find local options, that are easy for friends and family to visit. When family and friends are local, it will make the resident in the nursing home feel more secure and safe, as well.
Plan a visit to each of the nursing homes, before making your decision. It’s very important to make sure you visit a nursing home before placing your loved one in their care. We recommend visiting the nursing home at least twice, at different times of days.
It’s important to know that many nursing homes may have alarms or areas that are restricted to outside guest with out a pass to enter. This is for the safety of the residents. Some residents may wonder and they need to have areas closed for their safety and protection.
What to look for when you visit a nursing home
• Cleanliness. The halls and rooms should be free of any clutter. The odor should be very minimal and free of any urine odors. Also, be on the look out for any smells of strong deodorizers because this may be used to mask those odors.
• Food. Find out what types of foods are served and the times of days the residents have access to meals. Do the meals look healthy and nutritious and do they look like something you or your loved one would enjoy eating?
• Layout of the nursing home. Most nursing homes are laid out about the same, with a nursing station in a central location and the rooms out in different wings. The difference between most nursing homes is how homely of a feel it gives their residents and guests. When you walk in, you should instantly feel that feeling of being at home and cozy. Their should be plants, art work and other decoration to help make the residents feel at home.
• Activities. It’s important for the nursing home to offer social activities for their residents. This could be bingo, arts and crafts, outside activities, social hour, book clubs…etc. Some nursing homes offer their residents options to go out and about. For example trips to stores, sporting events and concerts. Of course, outside activities depends if the resident is physically and mentally able to do so.
• Specialized in any conditions. If your parent is suffering from Alzheimer’s, you should look for a nursing home that specializes in Alzheimer’s disease. Facilities that specialize in different diseases and medical conditions will be the best fit for your loved one if they are suffering thought it, as well.
In part 3 of Nursing Homes: Everything You Need To Know, we will discuss how to handle the emotions of moving into a nursing home and how to over ease the transition.