If you or a loved one needs nursing home care, choosing a facility that you believe will provide the care you need and the respect you deserve should be your top priority. This is why knowing what to look for when searching for a nursing home is so important. Here are some suggestions that can help you make the right choice.
Identify The Type Of Care You Need
Are you looking for a nursing home or an assisted living facility? These terms are frequently used interchangeably, but there is a notable difference between the two.
Assisted living facilities offer help and support to individuals who need assistance with tasks of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and taking medicines. Nursing homes, on the other hand, offer more comprehensive support to individuals who also have serious physical or mental health issues.
This difference is also important because the cost can differ significantly between a nursing home and an assisted living facility. On average, an assisted living facility costs $4000 – $5000 per month, while the average monthly cost for a nursing home is approximately $7500.
Look For A Nursing Home Nearby
You should first try to narrow your search to nearby nursing home facilities that family members can easily visit regularly. Regular visits from friends and family are important for staying active and engaged.
Seek Out Trusted References
Get references from friends, family members, and others whom you trust and who have loved ones in nursing homes. Consult with state and local agencies. Shortlist several care facilities that come highly recommended and then take the time to research them to select the best choice.
Verify Staffing Levels
Before you commit to any potential nursing home facility, make sure that it is properly staffed. Some nursing homes try to save money by maintaining low staff numbers, but this is a recipe for failure. Overworked staff members cannot be expected to provide optimal care.
Verify Staff Quality
As you look into each potential facility, pay special attention to how they choose their staff. Like everyone else, you have probably heard horror stories about elder neglect and abuse by nursing home staff members. But good nursing homes run background checks on every potential employee and never take chances with the safety and well-being of their residents.
Visit Every Nursing Home You Are Seriously Considering
There is no getting around it: You must see the facility firsthand and examine it with your own eyes to judge it accurately. You wouldn’t buy a house without walking through it a couple of times. The nursing home you choose for yourself or your loved one deserves the same attention.
Some important things to think about are as follows:
- Does the facility look and smell clean?
- Are there any foul odors?
- How often are the rooms cleaned and beds changed?
- Does the facility provide the range of services that you need or desire?
- Does the staff speak the language that you or your loved one speak?
- Is there access to computers, fitness activities, etc.?
- Are the rooms equipped with television, internet, DVD players, air conditioning, etc.?
Meet The Nursing Home Administrators
Ask about policies to be sure that you understand how the facility operates. Make sure you understand the contract and know what the costs will be. If you need help working out the cost enlist the services of an experienced professional.
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