Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is tough enough, but choosing the right facility is even more challenging. Unfortunately, tours of the home and brochures only paint part of the picture. If you want to find the best place for your parent, here five things to double check.
1. Realistic Location
It’s essential that you find a home as close to your own as possible. While you might be committed to making lengthy drives now, that aspect will eventually affect your ability to visit your parent. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice a top-ranked nursing home far away for something comparable nearby.
2. Services Matter
While taking a tour of the home, make sure to ask extensive questions about the services they provide. Then, double check to ensure these services cover everything your parent needs. Chronic conditions, diseases, supplemental oxygen, and rehabilitation services are all things to consider.
Not every nursing home is capable of providing the same level of care for their residents. Others are designed to treat specific conditions and their symptoms, like a memory care facility. You should also ask about whether or not specialty doctors are on staff and, if not, how far away these doctors are for urgent matters.
3. Insurance Policies
It’s vital that you know how you or your parent intends to pay for their stay at the home. Most individuals rely on insurance, which is why it helps to know what policies the home accepts. Should your parent’s insurance situation change, you also need to know if the home accepts Medicaid.
4. Health Safety and Life Quality
There are a myriad of questions you should ask about health safety. You need to know how staff prevents pressure sores for patients stuck in bed, what measures they take to avoid infections, and how attentive they are to patient emergencies. For the latter, it helps to ask residents how long they wait when they ask for help. The last thing you want is to have to hire a personal injury attorney because your parent was neglected.
As for quality of life, there’s a lot to investigate. Residents should be able to eat, sleep, and live their lives at any time. Food served should be healthy while accommodating a wide variety of diets, while scheduled activities should be in abundance. Transportation should be offered for outings, and it’s essential that residents can spend time outdoors.
5. Take a Close Look at the Staff
One vital component of patient care is the amount of time nurses and aids spend with residents. They need to be attentive to your parent’s needs and fully care for any conditions. Staff turnover is also a key indicator of what kind of quality your parent can expect.
Nursing homes that have trouble retaining employees should stand out as a red flag. Staff should also have consistent assignments, which means your parent will deal with the same people each day. This allows your parent to feel more comfortable while helping staff better anticipate your parent’s needs.