Choosing the right nursing home for your loved one can seem overwhelming, with much at stake. It helps to know the key questions to ask the nursing home. That way, you’ll feel more confident that you picked the right one, and your loved one will be in good hands.
CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about some of the things you should consider when choosing a nursing home for your loved one, including:
- When You Need to Choose the Right Nursing Home
- Touring the Facilities
- Evaluating the Team
- Researching their Track Records
- Making Sure Special Needs will be Met
- The Importance of Good Communication
- Final Thoughts on Questions to Ask Nursing Home
Choosing The Right Nursing Home For Your Loved One
For the majority of us, providing the full-time care and supervision that aging relatives need is not a feasible option. It’s a huge sacrifice and one that not everyone is able or ready to make.
To that end, nursing homes can be a huge help, even if they can be expensive. However, how do you make sure that you’re choosing the right place that will take care of the needs of your loved one?
Here are 5 key questions to better understand the options and pick which works best for your own relative.
How are the Facilities?
It’s crucial for you to take a thorough tour of the facilities. You want to make sure, first of all, that the nursing home is able to provide a comfortable, welcoming, clean, and accommodating place for your loved one.
As such, you should make sure that you have an idea of what facilities to expect, such as common areas, outdoor space, and a comfortable private bedroom for your loved one to be alone in.
Take the time to physically tour the facilities in depth. Make sure that you get a good look at the type of room that your relative is likely to be spending most of their time in. It should provide the creature comforts and safety provisions they need.
Do They Have the Team to Provide the Care Needed?
An important part of any care home is whether there are enough professionals on staff to see to the needs of all of the residents.
First, there is the very real risk of neglect due to having a ratio of too many residents to carers. But there is also the risk of stress as a result of the workers being expected to do too much for too many people with not enough time.
You’ll find different thoughts on what is the best carer-to-resident ratio in such facilities. That means, you’ll need to do your research. Despite regulation, you may have an idea of how many workers there should be that you will look for in the nursing homes you visit.
Of course, you have to consider different types of staff, as well. Not all will be hands-on, full-time carers, either. So factor that into your decision-making.
Does the Nursing Home Have Any Negative History?
Of course, one of the biggest concerns with any care home is going to be the potential for abuse.
This isn’t to say that it is rife across the industry, but you don’t need more than a few examples to understand how vulnerable the elderly can be. Especially when it comes to leaving your family member in the care of these facilities, you want to be certain there isn’t even a hint of it.
So, do some research. Take a look online, Googling the facility you are looking at with keywords such as “abuse,” “scandal,” and “review.” These will bring up any parts of their history they might be trying to hide.
Another way to find out if a nursing home has violations is by checking:
- State resources
- Nursing Home Inspect database
You also want to ask others if they’ve had any experience with this nursing home. That might be in conversations with friends and neighbors, or in a community Facebook group that you’re a part of. While these referrals or complaints may be anecdotal, you might see a pattern of red flags develop.
Know that if you suspect any kind of elder abuse or neglect, the Nursing Home Law Center can help you address it – but hopefully your upfront sleuthing will help you pick the right nursing home.
Will Any Special Needs Be Taken Care of?
You need to consider the specific needs of your loved one, then make sure you’re choosing a place that is suitable for their specific needs. This will vary from person to person, so consider your loved ones’ unique needs.
For instance, if your loved one is living with a disability, then he or she may need a care center that offers more in terms of accessibility in their facilities.
If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, then sites like Millenium Memory Care can help you find a place that can take care of those with memory disorders. You want to find a nursing home that is designed around their needs and challenges.
The standard nursing home might not work for everyone, so you need to think about additional training, facilities, and therapies that you’re loved one might need.
That way, you’ll know you have the best fit possible.
Are They Open to Ongoing Communication?
You are not going to be done vetting the nursing home of your choice once your loved one is staying with them. When picking elderly care services, you have to make sure that you’re able to communicate with their caregivers, even from afar.
This can help you not only check on your loved one’s health, but you can also use the time to ask questions and advocate for the kind of additional care they might need.
If the nursing home staff are hard to get in touch with or do not implement your requests (within reason) then you might want to consider a different nursing home, or even moving your loved one if he or she is already a resident.
Final Thoughts on Questions to Ask Nursing Home
As mentioned, beyond picking the nursing home, you’re going to have to check-in and make sure that they are providing the care and attention that your loved one needs. This will be ongoing.
Long gone are the days of putting a family member into a home and forgetting them. You’ll want to think of it as a care partnership. With these 5 key questions to ask the nursing home, you can make a confident decision in the right nursing home for your loved one.
Photo credit: Kampus Production (Pexels)
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