If you have an elderly or handicapped loved one that needs some sort of assisted living facility, you may be anxious about helping to make the decision. The same can also be said if your loved one will need a nursing facility to recuperate from surgery before heading home. Here are some tips for finding the right care home.
Search Inspection Reports and News Stories
The Medicare website allows you to check on the track record of facilities you may be considering. You can also ask for copies of inspection reports from the facilities, which they should happily furnish. If administration hesitates to provide them, look elsewhere. Also, run a search and carefully review any news stories about potential facilities, both positive and negative. If the facility was shut down at one point or has undergone a complete change in management, you may want to restrict your searches to only include items that have occurred since that event took place.
Consider Reviews and Opinion Sites
Do some digging on the Internet and see what families and the residents themselves have to say. While no facility is going to be perfect, be alert for allegations of cruelty, neglect, an overwhelmed or indifferent staff and other such claims. There are disgruntled people everywhere, but decide for yourself which complaints will factor into your decision.
Weigh the Total Costs
Few families can say that cost isn’t a factor when it comes to choosing a facility. If your loved one is on a fixed income, some places may be simply out of reach unless members of the family are willing to make an ongoing contribution towards their care. If your loved one’s care may last years, you don’t want to have to move them because of financial concerns. Choose a place that is acceptable to the family budget.
Visit the Facilities Yourself
Whether you’re looking for a long-term nursing home or a nursing facility for short-term recuperation, make it your business to go and check each place. Don’t be afraid to talk to the residents and those working there. If your loved one has certain religious, dietary or accommodation needs, now is the time to ask about them. The facility should be clean, fresh-smelling and welcoming. Trust your intuition. If you feel welcomed, at peace and happy while you are visiting, there is a great chance your loved one will.
Other Comfort Considerations
While everyone is different in what they would like in a nursing home, talk to your loved one about special circumstances for their comfort. Most facilities allow residents to have their own bedding, but they may not be allowed to bring in their own bed. Find out about the visitation policies, especially if those who will be visiting regularly work odd hours. If your loved one is a night owl, is there a lounge or solarium they could enjoy? What about opportunities to be outside or interact with therapy animals?
Being called upon to help choose a care home for a loved one can be an anxious experience, but it doesn’t have to be. By keeping these tips in mind, you can find the best possible facility for the one you love.