The decision to move a loved one to a nursing home is probably one of the hardest decisions anyone has to make in their lifetime. Unfortunately, it is a decision that must be made by many for the quality of health for their loved ones. A lot of times, what is even more difficult is all the decisions that have to be made prior to that ultimate final decision.
Maybe you have noticed your loved one having an increasingly difficult time completing daily tasks, remembering to take their medicine, or where they put their keys. It could also be pushing their emergency button more frequently due to falls or feeling unwell. These are all signs that the need for 24-hour care is probably necessary for their immediate future.
The best scenario for choosing the right nursing home for your loved one would be where they were involved in the decision-making. Of course, you would want to know their needs and desires and the type of environment they would prefer. However, sometimes situations arise that are out of anyone’s control and do not allow us the luxury of having our loved ones involved.
So, if it is left up to you to find a new home for your loved one, where do you start? Nursing homes are normally prevalent in most areas. However, there are several different types and levels of care. How do you know which place would offer your loved ones the best care while still allowing them to flourish as themselves?
Here are some things to consider when researching nursing homes that will help provide you the information you will need to make an informed decision on where to entrust the care of your loved one.
The most important issue is that your loved one feels good about their new home. It might take them a little while to adjust to their new surroundings, so it would be best that someone comes to visit them often, especially at first. For this reason, you would want to choose a home close to you or another close family member. It is imperative that they do not feel as though they are being shipped off and forgotten about.
While your main reason for looking for a nursing home is ultimately long-term care, there are many different types of services and healthcare to consider. So it is important to find out exactly what the nursing home that you are looking at offers. It is common for your loved one to already feel as though their decisions are being taken from them, so if they are still able, it would probably be good for them mentally to be able to make some daily choices on their own. These choices could be things like a variety of meal options or daily activities.
On the other hand, if your loved one is no longer capable of making those choices for themselves it is important to make sure that there are services available to help them.
One of the hardest aspects of moving a loved one to a nursing home for most people is entrusting their care to others. It has been suggested that while doing your research and tours of the nursing home, get to know the staff. Go at different times of the day and observe how they interact with the patients during various activities. Get personal with them and ask questions, they should have no problem with your questions or concerns.
Plus, you will probably be seeing them quite often if you choose that particular nursing home, so becoming friendly with the staff responsible for your loved one is never a bad idea and you might make a friend for them or yourself.
No one wants to think about negative things that could happen to your loved one once their care is turned over to someone else. Unfortunately, the reports of such incidences are all too real. The only silver lining is that due to lawsuits and those out there bringing facilities to justice, the history in the treatment of patients should be available if you do the research. Don’t just take the nursing home’s word for it, search for court records, try to get testimonials from families not offered by the nursing home, and do not discount your own gut feeling.
Despite if you have covered all bases and done your due diligence in choosing a home for your loved one, it will probably never feel completely right to you. Remember to give yourself time to explore several options so that you don’t feel as though that you are just choosing the first one you find that fits your criteria.
Hopefully by making the best choice from a few thoroughly researched and vetted places, you will have some peace of mind that you made the right choice for the care and quality of life for your loved one.
*Photo by Brett Sayles