As a love one ages, they may require additional care to assist in their day-to-day activities. However, the need for continued care that’s too complex to be managed in a private home setting can leave you overwhelmed and anxious. Choosing a nursing home for you or your loved one can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not prepared.
Considerations for Choosing a Nursing Home
It’s essential to note, the nursing home you pick will have a significant impact on the life of your loved one. Make sure you choose a facility providing compassionate help and care. Avoid nursing homes that employ staff members who lack the skills and knowledge to care for the elderly because it could lead to neglect.
Unfortunately, mistreatment and neglect can happen in nursing homes; you can find more information about its statistics online.
Needless to say, it’s important to choose the appropriate nursing home to ensure your loved one receives care in the best possible manner. Here are the things you should consider:
1. Government Inspection Ratings
Getting personal recommendations from people who’ve sent a loved one to a nursing home is a great way to get an objective opinion of a facility. However, your decision shouldn’t be made on those alone.
There are actual online resources maintained by the government which family members of prospective nursing home residents can check out to obtain a clear view of a specific nursing facility. These government websites provide overall ratings for all nursing homes in the country based on how they performed during inspections.
The government provides a rating for each of the following:
- Staffing: The rating for staffing is based on the average number of nursing care hours provided to each resident every day.
- Quality Measures: Different measures like medical and physical treatment are being considered. There’s information about the quality of care nursing homes provide to residents.
- Health Inspections: The relevant data from the last three years of on-site inspections is the basis for this rating.
- Overall rating: This incorporates the first three items above and serves as a summative evaluation.
Reading through all of this information can seem overwhelming but it will greatly assist you as you assess your options. Use them to compare nursing facilities.
2. Location of the Facility
Having a regular presence in the nursing home will help ensure your family member is receiving appropriate care. It also allows you to address deficiencies promptly. That’s why it’s essential to consider a location that is close to you or convenient for you to get to. Pick one that’s close to you, your family members, or your friends who can visit the resident frequently.
3. Staff-to-Patient Ratios
There aren’t enough nursing home personnel to properly care for residents if the patient-to-staff ratio is too high. Conversely, patients are more likely to enjoy personalized care if there’s a lower patient-to-staff ratio. Ask about these figures when choosing a facility for your family member.
Depending on the needs of your loved one, the nursing facility you choose could offer the following services:
- Therapy services: The quality of therapy services offered by the nursing home is of utmost importance since most residents admitted to these facilities need rehabilitation. Therefore, patients should receive both physical and occupational therapies accordingly.
- Medical services: A physician should also be present in all skilled nursing facilities to provide oversight and medical care. Many nursing homes also hire specialists for on-site consultations when necessary. Specialists commonly working with these facilities include dentists, psychiatrists, ophthalmologists, and podiatrists.
- Dialysis: Choose a nursing home that provides dialysis if your loved one needs it. Some facilities arrange transportation to their partner dialysis center.
- Social activities: A vital element of the recovery of residents is their emotional health. That’s why nursing homes should organize social activities such as workout and exercise classes, outings, group games, and even movies.
5. Food Preparation
Another thing significantly impacting how happy residents are when they’re in a nursing facility is the quality of food being served. The atmosphere around mealtime also helps. Determine how a specific nursing home handles meals by visiting around mealtime. You can also ask these questions:
- Do residents have options?
- Is the food nutritious?
- Did a chef prepare the food?
- Are the special dietary needs of each resident being considered in the food preparation process?
One can make the best choice for a family member in need of a skilled nursing facility by taking the things discussed here into consideration. Of course, if your loved one can provide opinions and preferences, consider them as well and combine them with your in-depth research regarding the above mentioned information.