How to choose the right nursing home for your loved one

Although the idea of placing a loved one in a nursing home is anything but pleasant, in some cases that’s the best option for everyone. Nursing homes can provide round the clock care and a variety of services that can make life a lot easier for someone who needs to recover after a medical intervention or seniors who simply can’t care for themselves anymore. 

Since families and friends can’t always offer this level of care and attention, as much as they’d like to, finding a quality nursing home for their loved ones is often the only viable solution. However, there are many variables to take into consideration when choosing a nursing home in order to ensure your loved one is getting the best treatment possible. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has enough time to conduct proper research, considering these things usually happen unexpectedly and the decision has to be made quickly. It’s important to talk to your loved one about their options, in case they’re still able to choose for themselves. If not, the responsibility for choosing a nursing home falls entirely on your shoulders. 

So here are a few tips that can make the process a bit easier and help you find a suitable nursing home for your loved one. 

Discuss with the whole family 

A decision that will affect not only your life, but the life of those around you is not something to be taken lightly. So, before you start the process of looking for a nursing home, make sure to discuss this with all parties involved, especially with the person who’s going to move into the facility, if he or she is in control of their faculties. 

Family members and close friends can help a lot during these challenging times, providing not only moral support, but also much-needed guidance. They can offer different perspectives and even suggestions if they know of any reliable nursing homes. That can point you in the right direction and together you can find the most suitable option.  

Consider the location

Location plays a very important role in the equation when looking for a quality nursing home. You want to make sure you can visit your loved one as often as possible, so choosing a facility that is located close to you and other family members and friends is one of the most important factors to consider. If you find a good nursing home that is located further away from where you live, think about how a longer drive will affect you and if you’re able to take long trips on a regular basis. 

Also, you should take into account the size of the facility. Nursing homes with a larger number of residents may be ideal if your loved one is more extroverted and likes to be surrounded by a lot of people. Those who are introverted will probably appreciate smaller and quieter nursing homes more. 

Inquire about services and amenities 

Different people will have different care and support needs, so you have to look for a nursing home that offers the level of care and attention that your loved one requires. Although most facilities provide long-term care, not all of them have the same healthcare services and amenities. 

Look for nursing homes that offer more than the basic services that only cover the essential needs of their residents. For example, telemedicine for nursing homes is one of those services that can make a major difference and greatly improve the quality of life for nursing home residents. Other aspects, like meals, the dining experience, different activities residents can engage in or specialized medical services can also ensure a more enjoyable stay for your loved one.

Visit the facility

A nursing home can sound great on paper and even look amazing in pictures, but the reality can be slightly different from what you see on their website. There are things you can only find out if you visit the facility in person and take a tour before you decide if it’s the right option or not. Unfortunately, a lot of people skip this essential step, only to be disappointed later by the facility they’ve chosen. 

Our advice is to get in touch with each of the facilities you’re considering and make appointments with the nursing directors, even if you’re pressed for time. You’ll learn a lot just by taking a look around and chatting with the personnel. You can even make a second visit, without calling ahead, to make sure the nursing home checks all your boxes. 

Observe the staff 

During your visit, pay close attention to the staff members, observe their attitude and how they treat residents. The staff members will be the ones taking care of your loved one, so it’s important to check if they have the right skills, experience and qualifications to provide the best possible treatment for the residents. 

Even the smallest details like the way they talk to patients and their visitors, if they knock on the door before entering or if they know patients’ names can help you form an idea of their level of professionalism. 

Ask questions 

While you’re touring the facility, trying to figure out if it matches your requirements and expectations, make sure you ask questions about all the aspects that interest you. There’s a lot of details that you probably won’t find on their website, so now’s the time to find out everything you want to know.

We suggest you come prepared with a list of questions and talk to the people who can provide answers. Don’t hesitate to ask about things like the number of staff working at the facility, the qualifications they have, the turnover of key staff members and other similar aspects. The more you know, the easier it will be to make an informed decision. 

After you’ve conducted a thorough research of the nursing homes you had on your list, you can finally decide which one is the right one. Take all the things you’ve found out into consideration, and don’t forget to trust your senses. In the end, all these steps will help you make the right choice for your loved one.