Choosing a Nursing Home
If you decide to put your loved one in a nursing home, you should know how to choose the right one. There are many factors that will make or break the experience for you and your loved one. Information about these factors will be provided for you here.
The location of the nursing home is one of the most important factors. If it is too far away from you, you wont be able to visit. This will make it harder to see they’re doing ok and have everything they need. You want to make sure you can get to your loved one in an emergency and that your loved one does not feel like you are pushing them away from you.
One thing you want to look out for when choosing a nursing home is the resident and staff interaction. You want your loved one to have a good relationship with the people taking care of them. So, take notice of how the current residents interact and decide if it is acceptable for you and your loved one.
Visiting the Home
Making a visit beforehand is an important step. This will give you the opportunity to tour the facility and talk with some of the staff and residents. You can see the resources that will be available to your loved one. During this visit, you will want to check the condition of the facility and the residents. Notice smells, cleanliness, and the appearance of the residents. If any of these things don’t meet your standards, ask a staff member if they can change.
Something that you will want to know about is how often the home will allow you to visit your loved one. Some homes will have 24 hour visiting while others will have set hours. You want to pick a home that will suit the times you are available to visit. This will allow you to check in on your loved one. Your loved one might also think that you forgot about them or that you don’t care anymore. This is important to make sure of if you want to see your loved one while they are away from you.
The ability to meet the needs of your loved one should constitute a high priority for you when choosing a home. Most nursing home facilities can handle common issues that elderly people face. But, homes are usually upfront about their limitations. If your parent is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, take this into consideration. If the staff and facilities can’t meet needs related to this disease, find a home that does. You can contact a nursing home and ask what types of special services they offer. Because this is such a basic need, it is worth looking into the services that the nursing home offers. This should happen before you go any further researching the home or trying to visit it.
The physical environment of the home should be something you consider as well. This can make or break the experience for your loved one. You want to see if the home looks comfortable. If it is dull and not appealing to the eye, it is likely that your loved one will not want to be there. Also, make sure that your loved one will have a window in their room. A window will make it feel like your loved one is not trapped inside all the time. Take the time during your visit to notice these things. Make sure your decision happens with physical appearance in mind.
Culture and management of a nursing home could mean a big difference in how the home runs. You want to find a peaceful place for your loved one to live. If the staff members seem unfriendly, your loved one might not feel happy there. You want to make sure that the staff and residents get along well. It will be a miserable experience for your loved one if the home has a negative culture about it.
Some nursing homes have a history of deficiencies and complaints. You are going to want to find out about these things before considering the home. You can contact the ombudsman who has dealt with these complaints. This will give you more information about the complaints. They can tell you about what has happened in the home. You can then see what could happen to your loved one while in the home.
When you place your loved one in a nursing home, you want to know what the ratio of staff to residents is. If it is not a good number, this could increase your loved one’s risk of getting neglected. This is because there are too may residents compared to the amount of staff they have on duty. You should ask the home about this when you visit. This way, you can be sure there will be someone to help your loved one when they need it.
If the staff gets stressed or burnt out, this could affect your loved one. The staff will have other things in their life that might stress them out. This could lead them to take out their emotions on the residents. They also might feel burnt out from working too many hours. This could affect your loved one so you want to make sure the staff is in a good state to be taking care of your loved one.
When a nursing home is hiring new staff, they might have a screening process. This process should include an extensive interview with potential employees. The interview will see how they handle an emergency situation. It will also see how they interact with elderly people. This should be something you ask the nursing home when visiting. It would be a good sign if the home has an interview process like this.
The staff in a nursing home needs to have good education and training before working with your loved one. If they get hired as a nurse, they should have graduated from a nursing school. If they will be an aide, they should have gone through a good training program. This will make sure that they know what they are doing. If they have not had a good education or training, they should not get hired. You should ask the nursing home about training. It’s important that the staff working with your loved one know how to care for residents.
Abuse Prevention Policy
A nursing home that has an abuse prevention policy is usually a good home for you to consider. This should assure you proper steps will be taken to protect your loved one. Knowing that they have a policy like this will make you more comfortable choosing the home.
Staff and Residents
When visiting the nursing home, you will want to watch how the staff interacts with the residents. This will help you choose the best nursing home for your loved one. If they are kind and compassionate toward a resident, that is a good sign. If they are rude and don’t show the residents much interest, it might not be a good environment for your loved one. Taking notice of this will help you to see how they are going to treat your loved one. This should help you decide if it is the right home.
The resident-to-resident interaction is just as important as the staff-to-resident interaction. You want your loved one to be comfortable with the people they are going to be living with. If the residents and staff members are bitter toward each other, the environment won’t be healthy. But if they get along, your loved one will be happier in the home.
When searching for the right nursing home, it is important to ask for referrals. Ask around to some of your friends and family to see if they have nursing home experience. If they are familiar with the home, they will be able to tell you if it is a good home or if you should look elsewhere. You might also want to ask a local agency that deals with nursing homes what they think about certain homes. None of these things can hurt. They will help you get a better idea of what other people think about nursing homes in your area.
The licensing records of the homes you are looking into will be something you want to check. You will want to see what kind of licenses they are required to have and if they actually have them. If they don’t, this might not be the best home to put your loved one in. It is likely that they couldn’t get it. Or, they just don’t know how which means that they will not be able to provide the best care.
Talking to residents of the home you are considering is a good way to find out how the home really is. They will be able to tell you if they like where they are living and if they are being treated well. If they say anything negative, you will be able to tell if your loved one will feel the same way. You know your loved one best so it is important to find out what they will like. What one resident says doesn’t mean that your loved one wont like it. You should talk to a few residents to get a better understanding of how the home operates.
Research a Few Homes
This is a good step to take before you heavily consider one home. Most nursing homes have websites with a lot of information on them. Go to the websites for a few homes in your area. See what kind of services these homes offer, take a look at pictures, check out visiting hours, etc. Just from this initial search, you should be able to weed out the homes that won’t work for your loved one.
Talk to friends or colleagues that have used a nursing home. They might be able to give you insight into the process. They can also help you pick good homes from bad ones based on their experiences.
Consider Your Loved One’s Needs
Even the best nursing homes might not be right for your loved one. If your loved one has a specific medical need and help isn’t offered by a home, exclude this home from your search. The home might be great, but it won’t be right for your loved one.
Consider Your Family’s Finances
What can you afford in a nursing home? Does your loved one have Medicare or Medicaid that will help pay for the costs of the home? While you want to make sure that your loved one gets the best care, money matters. Make sure that you can afford the homes that you are looking at.
Visit a Few Nursing Homes
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, visit your top few nursing homes. Looking at a home on a website is a great start, but it is no substitute for visiting the home. When you get there, you can see what it is really like. You and your loved one should make a decision after visiting.
Talk to a Staff Member
When you visit the nursing home, take some time to speak with a staff member. Come prepared with a few questions about the home. Many staff members will be happy to talk to you and answer your questions. Use the information they provide in your final decision.
Talk to a Resident
To get a sense for the way residents are treated, talk to a resident. Ask questions about how the residents feel about the home. Your loved one can also socialize with a few residents to make sure that they will get alone with people in the home.
Talk to a Manager
Talk to someone in a managerial position at the nursing home. This person can give you information on the way the home is run and answer your more technical questions.
Have a Family Meeting
Sit down with your family and talk about your nursing home options. As a family, you can make this decision. Consider each person’s concerns, especially those of your loved one who will be living in the home.
Consult an Attorney
Before making a final decision or signing any contracts, talk to a lawyer. A lawyer will make sure that your loved one’s rights are protected before they get to the home.
Choosing the right nursing home for your loved one is crucial. You want to make sure that they are going to be comfortable in the home. Following the steps above will assure you that you are making the right choice.