When an aging family member develops a serious medical condition that requires care 24 hours a day, home care may not be a viable option. Deciding to move a parent to a nursing home is always a tough decision. The best time to start thinking about this decision is before this critical stage. Gathering information and doing your research early will help make the best decision when the time does come.
It’s not hard to get started. Do a search online. Once we’ve finished building out our elder care directory, you’ll be able to start your targeted search right here. Compile a list of facilities in your area that seem promising. Request brochures and/or interviews from these facilities.
Most nursing homes offer several types of senior care. A thorough understanding of your relative’s medical condition will help you anticipate the level of care required today and down the road.
Choosing the Right Nursing Home
There are many great nursing homes out there. With research and a clear perspective, you can find the right care facility. Here are some more things you can do before and during your visits to prospective facilities.
* Ask friends, neighbors, health professionals, and clergy what they know about the nursing homes on your list.
* Consult the Consumer Reports Quality Monitor and the nursing home’s certifications and business record. Ask to see the state inspection survey. This should always be readily accessible.
* Go to the home more than once at different times and days of the week. Make at least one unannounced visit. Make at least one visit during the weekend. A chat with a family member of a current resident can provide a ton of great information.
* Look for obvious problems. Does it smell bad? Does it look dirty? A cheerless or depressing environment is a big red flag.
* Ask about changes in ownership and top-level staff.
When you’ve finalized your short list, it’s time to look at the money issues. The best nursing home in your area may not be the best nursing home for you and your loved one if you can’t afford it. Nursing home care is expensive so you’ll want to get the most out of every care dollar. Nevertheless, you should be able to find a highly reputable care facility for a reasonable price.