Tips on finding the right place for your aging loved ones
Those of us who are caring for elderly parents will at some point fact the decision of having to choose a nursing home. Nursing homes may not always seem like the ideal solution, but in a great number of cases there may not be another way. Especially when your senior relatives begin losing the ability to function on their own, in the case of a sudden injury, or when their battle with a disease of their mind or body becomes serious enough to require constant medical supervision.
For some, home care is simply not an option, and it can be for variety of different reasons: such as lack of money, time, or the burden it puts on the family as a whole. With today’s post I’d like to address everyone who’s trying to choose a new home for their loved ones, and to offer a helping hand to those looking for a reliable source of information about all kinds of senior care facilities in their area.
You’d never even spend a weekend in a hotel before reading the reviews first, and if it’s for the golden years of a family member, the importance of looking up all the facts in advance is only greater.
Choosing what fits best
There are several kinds of nursing homes:
Hospital nursing homes
The choice of a hospital-like nursing home is appropriate for those whose health condition doesn’t allow them to have a free daily schedule without constant care from a specialist. These homes offer intensive care after injuries, surgeries, or for other more serious medical conditions.
Household nursing homes
The name says it all: household nursing homes are trying to maintain the independence and feeling of home. There are a number of daily activities and the staff doesn’t take a strictly medical approach. Daily schedule is usually not set.
Combined nursing homes
This kind of nursing home incorporates the medical care and home-like atmosphere of the aforementioned solutions.
When choosing the ideal nursing home with a corresponding amount of care and equipment, consider consulting your local hospital’s social workers or your family doctor. They will provide you with enough tips to simplify your choice.
Do your research
When you get to the shortlist with your options, check the following points:
- Go through the priorities (level of medical care, proximity from your other relatives for visits, religious options, meal quality, etc.)
- Ask for suggestions and experiences from your friends, religious or social groups, and healthcare specialists in the area.
- Make a list of questions and concerns, call the facilities and ask about them.
- Several visits are recommended, some even without calling ahead. These are important for really understanding how things are being handled on a daily basis. Observe the food, the space, the activities.
- Make use of these Nursing Home or SNF checklists provided by medicare.gov to help you decide what to concentrate on during your visits.
Under the following links you’ll find rating sites and directories of senior assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and homes with special medical care. If you still need help with making a choice or aren’t sure about the specific needs of your senior relative, you can also contact the authors of these sites directly and ask for help or a recommendation.
My last advice would be: try not to rush things. Even if you’re in a hurry due to a medical emergency, try to take as much time as you’re able to do your research first. You want to make sure that the amount of care, respect and freedom (if possible, given the medical condition) will be as high as it would be at home.