With an aging population, more and more of us find ourselves seeking appropriate care for our elderly relatives. Currently, in the United States, around 4.5% of the population resides in a nursing home.
Choosing nursing homes is not an easy task. It will be more than just a home for your loved one. It will ensure that they enjoy their twilight years in comfort and with dignity.
Read on for our guide to 7 factors to consider when choosing nursing homes.
1. Evaluate the Cost
Before you begin your search in earnest you will need to work out the budget.
This calculation will be between the amount covered by your loved one’s insurance and their personal savings. When comparing nursing home costs, you will need to strike a balance between budget and facilities. Balancing costs with needs will allow you to find the best home for your loved one, at a realistic price.
2. Check Their Certification
If a nursing home has been certified by Medicare and Medicaid, you can have greater confidence in the standards of care. Both Medicare and Medicaid have stringent standards. Nursing homes must meet them to receive certification.
Both Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and nursing facilities (NFs) receive unannounced surveys. These happen periodically to check standards.
3. Get Everyone on Board
Often in families, there are only one or maybe two primary carers. The load of choosing nursing homes often falls to them. But everyone in the family will want to visit your loved one when they go into a nursing home.
It’s good to call a family meeting. Make sure that you include your loved one in the discussion, and value their input – they will be living there after all! Spend time together discussing nursing home options and comparing nursing home costs.
No choice will be ideal for everyone. By getting everybody’s input though, it will help everybody feel invested and happy with the decision in the future.
4. Get the Location Right
For the happiness of your loved one, your family, and yourself it is very important to get the location right. If the nursing home is too far away or is difficult to access, it will be hard to make regular visits.
Seniors thrive when they have regular contact with their family and friends. If at all possible, choose a nursing home that is close to their local area. This will help them to remain part of the community, and be good for their mental and emotional health.
5. Consider Specialist Services
It has likely been a long and difficult road to come to the decision to move your loved one into a nursing home. Often the decision is taken because it is simply no longer practical for your loved one to live alone. Possibly their needs are now too great to be cared for in their own home.
Work with your loved one’s primary care physician to get an understanding of exactly the level of care they need now. Also, consider the care they are likely to need in the future. If they have a degenerative condition, such as dementia, will the home be able to provide continued care as the disease progresses?
Talk to nursing staff in the homes you are considering about the types of services they provide. Discuss your loved one’s care plan with them before making any decision. If at all possible, choose a home that has the facilities to give them ongoing care. This may eliminate the need for a stressful move in the future.
6. What Activities for Patients Do They Have?
Most patients living in nursing homes may have limited mobility, and doubtless, none are as active as they once were. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t still want to enjoy a good time!
Many nursing homes have a range of activities for seniors that your loved one may really enjoy. These could include entertainment services, therapeutic art and music classes, and concerts.
They may also include some wellness and pampering, such as manicures, pedicures, and hairdressing. Some also arrange to take more able bodies seniors out for visits as appropriate. All of these can help keep life interesting for your loved one between family visits!
7. Read Reviews and Request References
Through the internet, we now have access to more information on nursing homes than ever before. As well as researching the kinds of facilities on offer, we can also read reviews from those who have experienced their services.
It’s true that some reviews can be polarized. It’s more common to write a review when we’re either very happy or very dissatisfied with a service. They can still give you a good general idea though of how the home is regarded. They will help you pick up on the strengths of the home, and things it could do better.
There are also online resources that allow you to find and compare Medicare and Medicaid-approved nursing homes near you.
Some nursing homes may also allow you to read references that have been written by the family of current and former patients. This can give you an insight into the home from the perspective of a loved one and can provide needed reassurance.
Making the Best Decision When Choosing Nursing Homes
Choosing nursing homes is not easy. But if you follow these pointers, you’ll be able to make a good choice. A choice that will improve your loved one’s quality of life. A choice that will give you peace of mind knowing that they’re in safe hands, allowing you to cherish the time you spend together.
Nursing More provides services that help nursing homes promote their locations. We can also help you to be compliant, and engage with those leaving reviews. We have a range of features for nursing homes to help you take your business forward.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you to develop your nursing home business.