When caring for an elderly loved one at home becomes difficult a family may consider seeking the aid of an assisted living facility or nursing home. Often this decision of which nursing home to choose comes during the middle of an already emotional experience and can be difficult for everyone involved. However, to ease any hardship the decision may bring it’s necessary to feel confident in your decision and comfortable with your choice of nursing home. Because every loved one is different, the factors that play a part in this decision may vary, but ultimately the goal of a comfortable facility with a caring staff changes very little. Here are some beginning criteria to look at and consider when narrowing down your nursing home choices:
Location– The location of the nursing home should factor into your decision for various reasons. You want to make visiting your loved one as easy as possible on the whole family. Who will visit regularly and how near/far is the home from their residence? While it isn’t always possible to find a nursing home down the street, one that is nearer makes visiting easier and can help decrease feelings of distance and increase feelings of security. How much comfort would you take from the fact that your loved one is only a ten minute drive away? You should also consider how far the home is from your loved one’s primary physician or Huntington Beach health center with various specialists. How hard is the location of the nursing home going to make doctor visits?
Residents– One of the biggest clues to the quality of service provided at a particular nursing home will always be the state of the current residents. Although you shouldn’t stress yourself out attempting to pick up minute details, do take a close look at the residents you see with open eyes and a fresh outlook. Do the residents appear well groomed? Are they dressed in a way that is appropriate for the season? You’ll have a chance to get some idea of how residents spend their time just by walking through the facilities, but ask about how long you can visit. Will they allow you to spend an entire day or a good five hours wandering the facility and observing the resident-staff relationships? Many homes are very open about their touring as they understand the difficulty of the decision. Are the residents you see usually engaged in an activity outside of their room? Or are they left sitting alone? Take note of your “gut feelings.”
Dining services– Pay special attention to the condition of the home’s dining facilities. One of the most common issues nursing home residents have is with inadequate nutrition that can lead to much more serious problems. Make sure to visit at least once during a meal time before making your decision. What does the plate look like? Does it look appetizing, and contain a variety of foods? Ask whether or not your loved one will have any say in what they eat. Are staff members assisting residents during meals?
When you get down to it there are going to be hundreds of criteria that can factor into your decision. Sometimes trying to consider everything can overwhelm and stress you, making the choice and process all the more difficult. Instead make a list of things you know your loved one will need in a nursing home. Make sure everything on your list is met and trust your gut when it comes to much of the rest. Remember that no living situation is permanent! You also might start thinking about getting ideas about how to obtain the best Southern California funeral services for the future.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at The Law Offices of WT Johnson, a personal injury law firm in Dallas, Texas. Zane is glad he doens’t have to deal with nursing homes.
Credits: Image from Flicker.
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