You and your family have decided the time is right to move a loved one into a nursing home. You can make the transition easier for everyone by choosing a nursing home that fits your loved one’s needs. We have created a comprehensive guide to help you choose a nursing home where your loved one will feel safe and happy.
Price is one of the first things to consider when choosing a nursing home. There tends to be a wide variation of pricing between nursing homes. A few factors that may affect the price include available amenities, location, level of care, and semi-private versus private rooms. Medicare may cover short-term nursing home residency but doesn’t typically cover long-term care. Medicaid may cover more costs as long as you choose an approved nursing home. Other coverage options to explore include Veteran’s benefits and private insurance.
Location is another important consideration when choosing the best nursing home. You’ll likely want to choose a location that’s nearby where your loved one already lives. You may also want to choose something that’s easy for you and other family members to visit frequently. Carefully consider the local community and nearby resources to ensure your loved one can be as comfortable as possible.
If you live in a different city or state from your loved one, ask about digital protocols. Find out if they offer virtual meetings that allow you to chat with your loved one over video. Some nursing homes, for example, may be willing to set your loved one up with a tablet, whereas others may not.
Regardless of where you live, learn everything you can about the nursing home care coverage in your loved one’s city. For example, a few Chicago nursing homes have put profits over the care of their patients, making thorough research even more important.
Inquire About Care Coverage
Different residents have varying care and medical needs. Some nursing homes may be designed to assist residents with memory care, for example, whereas others aren’t. It’s important to evaluate the unique care needs of your loved one and then choose a nursing home that matches that.
If you prefer that your loved one have 24/7 access to medical care, you may want to choose a nursing home with on-site nurses. You can also review the quality and training of staff members by inquiring about hiring requirements.
The amenities available at a nursing home can make your loved one feel at home. Nursing homes often host special events or outings that can make life in a nursing home more entertaining. Explore the available amenities, including if the nursing home has an on-site fitness center, entertainment room, or visiting rooms.
Ask for a copy of the nursing home’s entertainment schedule to find out what type of events they host and how often. For example, if your loved one enjoys Bingo, they may prefer to live in a nursing home with weekly game nights. Nursing home residents who enjoy gardening may like spending time outdoors in the garden. Residents with picky or strict dietary preferences may want to choose a nursing home with access to healthy snacks. Other amenities that may be important to you and your family include an art room, on-site library, social room, or beauty salon.
Evaluate Safety and Security
Safety and security should be a priority when choosing a nursing home. A few ways to evaluate the safety and security of a nursing home include:
- Staff to patient ratio: This informs you of how many patients each staff is tasked with caring for daily. It can give you insight into the level and timeliness of care your loved one will receive.
- Health assessment ratings: State-approved nursing homes undergo routine assessments. You can review the health inspection rating and any associated complaints.
- Reviews: Check out current or previous residents’ or family members’ reviews to better understand a nursing home’s reputation.
- Self-tour: A self-tour also allows you to evaluate safety and security for yourself. Take a walk through any nursing homes you’re considering.
You can also review the nursing home’s safety and security protocols. Inquire about visitation hours and requirements. Ask how the nursing home staff decides who to let in to visit residents. Find out how the staff is trained to treat an emergency.
If you have any suspicions about a nursing home, avoid it. If your loved one is already in a nursing home, and you suspect abuse or neglect, report the nursing home immediately and get help. Report the nursing home to the state and consider reaching out to a lawyer.
Finding the best nursing home for your loved one requires research, evaluation, and a review of each potential residence. You want to find your loved one a nursing home that is safe, accommodating and meets their physical and psychological needs. Taking the necessary time to choose the right fit ensures your loved one finds enjoyment in their new home.