When you arrive at the point in your life where you need to consider moving one of your elderly relatives to an assisted living facility, you are probably not sure where to start. What services should the nursing home provide? How well will my loved one really be cared for? These are all important but difficult questions to ask yourself before deciding on an assisted living facility.
Entrusting your parents (or other loved ones) to care for strangers can be a difficult thing to deal with. One option would be to hire a service to do all the research for you. Companies like Living Well offer assisted living placement services that take all the challenges out of the equation. But before you do anything, you need to have an idea of what you need to look for. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top five tips you should consider when looking for a nursing home.
After reading this guide, you will find it easier to entrust your elderly relatives to a nursing home (and you will also know exactly how to choose the best one).
How to Find the Best Nursing Home
1. Location, Location, Location!
The location of a care facility is crucial for a number of reasons. The nursing home should be located at a relatively short distance from you. A one-hour drive may seem fine at first, but if you go there three times a week, you will start to reconsider your choice. Try to find a suitable place that is close to where you live. The location should also be near major hospitals in the area (in case something bad happens to your loved one).
Also, don’t forget to consider the opinion of your loved ones. After all, they are the ones who will live there, so they should have some say in the matter. Do they like being outdoors? Then you shouldn’t put them in a nursing home in the middle of town. Questions like these can make all the difference in whether your loved ones are 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 the specific services they offer. Not all nursing homes offer the same (medical or leisure) services. Before you actually decide on an assisted living facility, you should take a tour. See how the current residents of the facility enjoy life there. How is the food? Do they offer special dietary services? Are there medical services they offer? These are all important factors to consider 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 doesn’t fit in well with your loved one), in the end, it will not be the best choice. Remember that the nursing home staff will be the ones who will actually take care of your elderly loved one. You should look for staff who have a good attitude, are professional, and are medically experienced.
One of the best ways to find out more about the staff of a facility is to take a tour. During the tour, pay attention to how the staff treats both patients and each other. If you notice unprofessionalism (or a bad attitude), it would be advisable to consider another nursing home.
4. Level of Independence
Put yourself in the place of your loved one. Wouldn’t you be afraid and anxious to move to a completely new environment? One of the most important things for them will be that they have a certain degree of independence in their new environment. Otherwise it will – from their point of view – essentially be a prison).
This is something you need to think about when you make your decision about choosing a nursing home. In general, the more independence the facility offers, the happier your loved one will be (this varies from person to person, of course). Little things like being able to choose a side dish at dinner, or deciding when to go to sleep can ultimately lead to a better quality of life.
Choosing the right nursing home for your older parent (or loved one) can be a nerve-wracking experience. If you take advantage of the tips we’ve just covered, you should be able to make a more informed decision when choosing an assisted living facility. Remember to put the needs of your loved one before anything else.