Making the decision to send a loved one to an assisted living facility can be very difficult. Family members are often fraught with guilt, stress, and worry about their relative during this period. Taking an active role in searching for the best nursing home can help ease these tensions and anxiety, since you’ll know that your loved one will be in the care of highly qualified professionals. But what should you look for in a reputable nursing home? How can you ensure that your family member gets to enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle? Here are four factors to watch out for in your search for a nursing home.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hold nursing homes to very strict quality of life standards, conducting regular onsite inspections to ensure that residents have safe living arrangements. Be sure to tour nursing homes and keep an eye out for sloppy housekeeping. Major red flags include sightings of biohazard materials, such as soiled linens or used medical equipment that are not contained or cleaned. Examine restrooms, dining areas, and resident rooms and assess the cleanliness of these areas.
Don’t be afraid to ask nursing home staff about their qualifications and licensure. Depending on the type of facility, some nursing homes will have Special Care Units for working with Alzheimer’s patients, for example. These specialized departments often come at different price points for residents, since they must meet different care standards established by state-based agencies.
Once your loved one starts living at a nursing home, will it be easy for you to visit them? Do the visitation hours sync up with the schedules of your family members? Learn everything you can regarding the visitation restrictions.
Depending on the physical and mental state of your loved one, they might require significantly more attention than other residents. For example, people who have trouble walking are at risk of falling down and sustaining an injury at the nursing home. This can lead to serious health consequences, especially if your loved one hits their head or breaks a limb. During your visit to the nursing home, take note of how much supervision the current residents receive.
Take some of the worry from your nursing home search by touring facilities thoroughly before your loved one becomes a resident. If you become concerned by the cleanliness, facilities, and care given to your loved one, be sure to address the issue with administrators. Visit your family member on a regular basis to assess their quality of life.