Things You Should Know When Choosing a Nursing Home

Residential

If your loved one needs assistance with daily living, is severely limited by disabilities, or needs specialized care, you may consider finding a skilled nursing home where they can live in a comfortable and pleasant environment.

When choosing a residential health care facility, there are a number of options available depending on your family member’s needs. Many facilities offer levels of care ranging from assisted living to skilled nursing. Use the following tips to assist in locating the best residential care for your loved one.

Locating Potential Homes

Families want to choose a location that is as convenient as possible for visiting purposes. When looking for the right home for your family member, put together a list of possible choices. Check out each home and review the pros and cons of each to narrow down your list. According to U.S.News, homes should be evaluated in three critical respects.

.   What is the size and type of nursing staff the home provides?

.   How diligent is the home in meeting all state health and safety standards?

.   What is the home’s performance rating in key medical decisions, such as provision of annual flu shots?

Once you have narrowed your list to a few possible homes, it is time to start visiting. Review the pros and cons of each home in your list. Go online and read their web sites and jot down questions you want to ask in person. Don’t be afraid to ask some tough questions when you visit a home where you may place a loved one. Visit each home more than once and visit on different days of the week. You have a right to look at the facility and check out how care is being performed for the current residents. You also should check on the recreational program. Regular activity is physically and emotionally necessary for people living in residential care. According to the folks at the American Association of Retired Persons when an older person starts eating less, overall health can go downhill quickly. Good quality meal and snack options, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can improve appetite. You might consider asking some of the following nutrition questions.

Nutrition

.   Does your menu provide residents with choice options or does everyone get the same meal? Is there a standard meal that is served for each day of the week or does the menu vary?

.   Can residents asks for meals to be served when they are hungry, or are all meals served at a scheduled time?

.   Are all dietary choices honored, such as those with religious or cultural restrictions, Kosher, vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, and gluten free? Are fresh fruit and other healthy snacks available when residents want them?

It is never an easy choice to place a family member in a residential setting outside of his or her own home, but when medical needs outweigh other considerations the choice must be made. Consult with your loved one’s physician for more information about residential health care facilities.