Choosing the Right Home

In this Article:
Choosing a Nursing Home
Costs, Medicare and Medicade
Choosing the Right Home
Nursing Home Checklist

Having looked at a number of different homes, at some point you will need to narrow the field a bit and pick two or three homes to concentrate on.

Be certain the nursing homes under consideration:

• Are Properly licensed
• Whether or not they are being sanctioned or fined for any deficiencies
• Have passed state inspections
• Have complaints filed against them
• whether or not they have Medicaid certified beds
• whether there is a waiting period
• if they accept patients with special conditions (like Alzheimer’s)

The Department of Health in your state will have an office which governs nursing homes and it is through them that you can get this information. You may also be able to look through their files on individual nursing homes.

Nursing Homes: Visiting


Never agree to a nursing home without having first made one or two personal visits to the home and attempted to meet with the home’s administration, staff, patients, and patients’ relatives. Ideally, your loved one will come along with you and be part of the process, but this is not always possible.

Some tips to consider prior to visiting a nursing home:


Schedule your first visit in advance Do this so that someone can show you around and be there to answer your questions. You should be observant of how the patients are treated, how knowledgeable the staff is, and how sanitary and inviting the environment is.

Plan to arrive around mealtime


Since lunch and dinner are important times at any nursing home, this is a prime time for you to arrive; you can see the food for yourself and ask patients their opinions on its taste, presentation and more.

Plan to make a second visit unannounced


If the first visit is successful, it calls for a second visit at meal time, although this one should be unannounced so that you can see how the facility functions when they aren’t expecting a visitor.

Nursing Homes: Social fulfillment


Nursing homes are not strictly about medical care; as residences, they must also feature a social element and when you begin to look for a nursing home, this is one element to discuss The following considerations rare preferably talked over with the loved one, or if they are unable due to physical limitations, with his or her family and friends.

Location:


Is the home close enough so that a variety of family and friends can make visits with some ease?

Religion:


What kinds of services are offered? Do they suit your loved one’s spiritual lifestyle?

Atmosphere:


Is there a common meeting room for patients? What about out of doors, like a patio?

Activities:


Do they coordinate activities for patients? If so, what are they, and how might they suit your loved one?

Nursing Homes: Your Role


Depression is not uncommon when a patient first arrives at a nursing home; having lost their independence for perhaps the first time in their lives and suddenly among medical care professionals and others they do not know, they will experience a range of difficult emotions. Thus, your continued involvement is vital to their well-being.

Some families and friends prepare visiting schedules that allow for one or two people to visit their loved one on a daily basis, bringing minor necessities such as books, toiletries, and other essentials, as well as news of family and friends. This kind of intense involvement can help your loved one transition much more quickly into the home.

Finally, keep in mind that a nursing home is a home, not a jail; residents may leave and return provided they are able. To that end, planning brief excursions with your loved one, to favorite parks or other places, can be a valued experience. In the event you suspect that the rights of your loved one are in any way being violated, contact your local Long Term Care Ombudsman immediately.

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