Safe Care for Mom and Dad: How to Choose a Nursing Home

how to choose nursing home
Of course your first concern is safety when it comes to placing your parents in a nursing home. What else? Here’s how to choose a nursing home you can trust.

how to choose nursing home

Are you considering putting your parent or loved one in a nursing home? This can be a difficult decision to make. You may feel guilty and your loved one may put up a lot of resistance, making you feel worse.

But know that you and your loved one are not alone. Nearly 30% of elderly persons need some form of assisted living care at some point.

The trouble is, most people don’t know how to choose a nursing home or don’t feel that they may be up to the task. If you’re one of them this article is for you.

How to Choose a Nursing Home

Choosing the right nursing home is a big deal. After all, your loved one will be living in this facility potentially for many years. You want them to be comfortable, happy, and have a good quality of life for their golden years.

If you’re wondering how to choose a nursing home, and how to talk to your loved one about it check out these great tips!

Think About Your Parent’s Needs

First off, you need to think about your loved one’s needs. Not all elderly folks have the same mental or physical limitations.

Your loved one may need just a little bit of help. Perhaps they can still walk on their own and have good cognitive functioning but it’s simply a good idea to have help nearby.

Of course, your loved one may be on the other end of the spectrum. If they have very limited mobility or have lost much of their cognitive functioning they will need more constant care.

Nursing homes offer different levels of care to provide for the needs of each individual resident.

Take a Tour

Once you have a few facilities in mind be sure to go and take a tour. The best way to get a feel for the facility is to visit it.

It’s a good idea to start doing research and taking these tours before you plan to put your loved one in a nursing home. Many people put off this chore until something drastic happens like an injury or emergency room visit.

The problem with doing this is that you are then rushed to find an appropriate facility. But if you do your research ahead of time you’ll already have the perfect facility in mind if something like this happens.

Get to Know the Staff

Sadly, nearly one in ten elders suffer abuse in nursing homes. To ensure that this doesn’t happen to your loved one get to know the staff.

How do they treat the residents? Do they talk about them and to them with respect? Do they seem to genuinely care? Or are they just doing their job? Do they do their job well? Do the residents seem happy and well taken care of?

If you can, talk to some of the residents without a staff member present. You don’t have to directly ask if the staff members are abusive. But you can get a feel for the general vibe of the facility.

Check Out Available Activities

One of the negative stereotypes about nursing homes is that elderly folks just sit around and wait to die. In some nursing homes, that can be the case. But that’s not something that you want for your loved one.

The right nursing home will have social, mental, and physical activities that your loved one can participate in. Remember, your loved one is going there to live. You want them to enjoy it. Plus, having the opportunity to participate in these activities helps stave off diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Do the Residents Have Freedom?

Remember that your loved one is still an autonomous individual. At some point, some elderly folks become unable to take care of themselves or make decisions for themselves. But just because someone is old doesn’t mean they’ve reached that point.

Find out how much freedom your loved one will have. Do they have a say in daily decision making? Do they have the freedom to wander the grounds and exercise as they would like to?

Some places like Seasons Memory Care limit the freedom of the residents to a certain extent. But these facilities are for elderly folks with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The restrictions are put in place to keep the residents safe.

As long as the residents are treated with respect these restrictions shouldn’t be a problem. But if a nursing home is limiting someone who doesn’t have these issues or is limiting access for visitors that’s a warning sign that something is going on behind the scenes that the facility doesn’t want you to know about.

Consider the Costs

While cost should not be your primary consideration, obviously it is an important one. You may find the perfect facility, but if you can’t afford it for very long it may not be the best choice for your loved one.

This is another benefit to start in your search for a nursing home early. You can begin to plan financially ahead of time. If you know there won’t be enough to cover the cost of nursing home care you can check into various aid programs that are available. Find out what your loved one is eligible for now so you can be prepared in the future.

The Right Nursing Home

It can be intimidating and you may feel a little guilty about putting your loved one in a nursing home. Just keep in mind that in many cases is far better for your loved one. They’ll have a better quality of life, and you’ll feel more peace of mind knowing that they’re not home alone.

The best way to ensure that everyone is happy is by properly learning how to choose a nursing home.

For more great health and well-being tips, be sure to check out that portion of my blog.

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