Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by Beth Skwarecki
There might come a time when you have to make the difficult decision to move an older loved one into a nursing home. It’s a huge responsibility, and the process often carries emotional weight and stress.
Unfortunately, many seniors are unhappy in nursing homes, and some even experience abuse. That’s why it is crucial to choose the right facility — one that not only meets the physical and medical needs but also supports its residents’ emotional and mental well-being.
We have created a detailed guide to help you choose the right nursing home for your loved ones.
Check Safety Records
Look for any reports or signs of neglect or abuse that may have occurred in the past. One common and serious type of neglect involves bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers.
These start as small patches of irritated skin (stage 1) but can worsen over time, evolving into the advanced stage (stage 4), which involves deep wounds and muscle and bone damage.
If the care facility does not address this issue swiftly, it can lead to severe health complications. Sadly, many individuals have had to file a stage 4 bedsore lawsuit against nursing homes because of inadequate care.
These lawsuits are often the pathway to holding the responsible parties accountable and ensuring justice for the affected individuals.
Make sure the nursing home you choose has no history of lawsuits filed for neglect and abuse.
Accreditations and Certifications
Certifications and accreditations are essentially stamps of approval from reputable healthcare organizations, guaranteeing that the care facility operates under the standards of care.
They also certify that the nursing home meets necessary health and safety standards. They give you peace of mind that your loved one will be in a place that has been vetted and approved by official authorities.
Before making your choice, make sure to personally review these documents. They should be valid and up-to-date to confirm the nursing home maintains high standards in its services.
When searching for a suitable nursing home, ask about the kind of meals they provide. It is essential that they offer balanced, nutritious meals that cater to various dietary requirements to support the health and well-being of all residents.
Ask to see a sample menu to understand the range and quality of food they serve. Also, inquire if they can accommodate special dietary needs, such as low-sodium or gluten-free diets.
Moreover, check if the meals are prepared fresh and with high-quality ingredients, as this is something that can’t be compromised.
Don’t forget to ask about the recreational activities they offer. It’s important that the nursing home staff encourages an interactive community atmosphere where residents can participate in activities that they like and enjoy doing with other residents.
To ensure the mental and emotional well-being of your loved one, take time to review the home’s activity calendar. This will give you an idea of the variety and frequency of events they host.
There should be a mix of activities. Some support both individual growth and others that foster group interactions. Furthermore, ask if they tailor activities to suit different preferences and abilities.
Staff-to-resident ratio refers to the number of staff members available to assist and take care of the residents in the home. A balanced ratio means there are enough people to provide personalized attention to each individual living there.
You would want your loved one to receive timely help and care. Find out the total number of staff members and how many are usually on duty during different times of the day.
Amenities and Facilities
Looking into the amenities and facilities of a nursing home is a key step in making the right choice. It is essential to find a place that has clean rooms, well-maintained common areas, and modern healthcare equipment to serve the needs and comfort of its residents.
Consider whether the home has spaces for residents to engage in leisure activities, both indoors and outdoors. They should have various options to relax and enjoy their time. Moreover, check if they have the necessary healthcare technology to address various health concerns efficiently.
Proximity to Family and Friends
When selecting a nursing home, the facility’s location plays a big role in ensuring that your loved one remains connected to family and friends. Choosing a home that is not too far away is essential, facilitating regular visits.
Proximity to familiar faces can significantly uplift the residents’ spirits, promoting emotional well-being through sustained connections. When a nursing home is easily accessible, it encourages spontaneous visits. It ensures your older loved one can enjoy family gatherings and maintain a close friendship with your kids.
Remember to keep the convenience of all potential visitors in mind, including friends and family who may rely on public transportation.
Testimonials and Reviews
It’s also wise to get reviews from current residents or their families. Their firsthand experiences can offer you an unfiltered glimpse into the daily operations and the quality of care provided at the facility.
Try to find reviews on independent platforms or websites for the most honest feedback. Additionally, if possible, speak directly to residents or their families during your visit to get a more personal understanding of the home’s environment. This could involve asking about the staff’s treatment of the residents, the food quality, and the cleanliness of the facility.
Payment Options and Insurance
Engage in a detailed discussion regarding the payment structures. Find out if they have provisions for insurance coverage. Get a clear breakdown of the costs involved for various services and facilities provided in the home.
Moreover, finding out about any additional costs and if the home accommodates insurance plans can remove a lot of stress in the future.
Choosing the right nursing home involves careful consideration of many factors. Check the facility’s history, accreditations, and staff-to-resident ratio to ensure safety and quality care. Evaluate amenities, meal options, and activities available.
Lastly, understand the payment structures and insurance policies to avoid future complications. By paying attention to these aspects, you can ensure a comfortable and secure environment for your loved one.
Beth is Cloudmineinc’s senior health editor and a certified personal trainer. She has over 10 years experience as a science journalist and is the author of two books. She deadlifts over 315 lbs.