Although you wanted to help your parents or other aging family member stay at home as long as possible in their golden years, you realize that you have reached your limits. If you are not in a position to provide their support, you may have no choice but to look into a residential care facility like a nursing home.
Naturally, you want to ensure that your loved one will receive adequate support at the facility where they will live. How do you choose the right nursing home for the comfort and well-being of your aging loved one?
Identify local options
Unless you live in an area with an unusually high cost of living, proximity will be one of the key considerations when selecting a nursing home. Unless the nearby facilities are cost-prohibitive, prioritizing close nursing homes will make frequent visits an option for you, which will benefit your loved one.
Look at the company’s record
Has the business that runs the nursing home faced lawsuits over its conduct at that facility or at other facilities that it operates? What kind of staffing practices does the company have?
Understaffing is one of the biggest safety issues for those nursing homes, as they could end up waiting for hours in soiled undergarments if there aren’t enough workers to see to their needs in a timely fashion.
Inspect the facilities
What the company includes in its promotional materials and what it must disclose to you under the law may not give you an adequate understanding of how the business operates the nursing home or residential care facility. You will need to visit, ideally when staff members don’t expect you and more than once, if you are to see what life is like on a day-to-day basis within the nursing home.
If you see signs of dirty residents or unclaimed facilities, it could be a warning sign that there aren’t enough staff members on hand to maintain the premises and provide an appropriate standard of care for the people living there.
Keep your eyes open during every visit
It only takes the decision to hire one abusive employee for a nursing home to go from a decent place for someone to live to a very dangerous space. You never know when someone may start working at the nursing home who will abuse or steal from your loved one, nor is there often much warning when a for-profit nursing home decides to change some of its standard practices, like reducing the number of staff members on hand at any given time.
You need to be ready to address any changes or issues that could harm your loved one. Choosing the right nursing home can be an important step when helping support someone during their golden years, and being ready to act as an advocate will be crucial to the protection and dependent on the support of others.