If you’ve arrived at the point in your life where you need to consider moving one of your older loved ones into an assisted living home, chances are you’re unsure of where to start. What services should the nursing home provide? How well will my loved one really be taken care of? These are all important, yet difficult questions that one must ask themselves before choosing an assisted living facility.
Trusting your parents (or other loved ones) to the care of strangers can be a difficult thing to come to grips with. One option would be to hire a service that does all of the research for you. Companies like Living Well offer assisted living placement services that take all of the challenges out of the equation. Before you do anything though, you need to have an idea of what to look for. That’s why we’ve made this list of the top five tips to keep in mind when looking for a nursing home.
After you’re done reading this guide you’ll be more at ease with entrusting your older loved one to a nursing facility (and you’ll also know exactly how to choose the best one possible).
Table of Contents
How to Find the Best Nursing Home?
1. Location, Location, Location!
The location of a nursing facility is vitally important for numerous reasons. The nursing home should be within a relatively close distance to you. An hour long drive might seem fine in the beginning, but when you’re making that trip three times a week is when you’ll start to reconsider your choice. Try to find a suitable location that’s close to where you live. The location should also be close to major hospitals in the area (in case anything bad happens to your loved one).
Don’t forget to take your loved one’s opinion into account either. They’re the one who’s going to be living there after all, so they should have some say in the matter. Do they like being in nature? Then you shouldn’t put them in a nursing home in the middle of the city. Questions like these can make all the difference to your loved one being comfortable (or not).
2. Services are Essential
This should be obvious, but one of the most important factors to consider when looking for an assisted living facility should be what specific services they offer. Not all nursing homes offer the same services (medical or recreational). Before actually choosing an assisted living home, you should take a tour. See how the facility’s current residents enjoy living there. What’s the food like? Do they offer special dietary services? Are there any medical services they provide? These are all important factors to think about during the selection process.
3. Staff Can Make All the Difference
No matter how nice a nursing home is, if the staff is incompetent (or not a good match for your loved one), it won’t end up being the best choice. Remember that the nursing home’s staff will be the ones who are actually going to be taking care of your elderly loved one. You should look for a staff that has a good attitude, is professional, and medically experienced.
One of the best ways to learn more about a facility’s staff is to take a tour. When you’re on the tour, take note of how the staff interacts with both patients as well as each other. If you notice any unprofessionalism (or bad attitudes for that matter), it would be wise to consider another nursing home.
4. Level of Independence for Your Loved One
Put yourself in your loved one’s shoes. Wouldn’t you be scared and apprehensive about moving to a completely new environment? One of the most important things for them will be that they have some level of independence in their new environment (otherwise it will essentially be a prison – from their point of view).
This is something that needs to be thought about when you’re making your decision on which nursing home to choose. Generally speaking, the more independence the facility offers, the happier your loved one will be (this obviously varies from person to person, though). Little things like being able to choose a side dish at dinner, or choosing when to go to sleep can add up in the end to a higher quality of life.
Choosing the right nursing home for your elderly parent (or loved one) can be a nerve-wracking experience. If you use the tips that we just covered, you should be able to make a more informed decision when picking an assisted living facility. Remember to put the needs of your loved one first, above all else.