Have you considered how difficult transitioning to a nursing home may be? Emotions often surge amid the uncertainty and loss of independence. Mental and physical health issues can make it worse. Many seniors will require support from their adult children throughout the process. Financial considerations aside, there are many factors involved in choosing the right facility, all of which should be geared towards the best possible experience for the aging adult.
Let us take a moment to review three suggestions for helping an aging loved one find the right nursing home:
1. Determine his or her needs. Not all nursing homes are the same, and neither are all residents. Accordingly, a critical first step can be to identify a senior loved one’s most important needs and evaluate potential options based on the facility’s capacity to meet them. For example, if an aging parent suffers from dementia, the nursing home facility should be equipped to handle related challenges. If not, then cross the facility off your list. Other considerations might include the geographic distance from family members, visitation policies, and, of course, costs.
2. Do your homework. Beware of the so-called “chandelier effect,” or the assumption that an attractive physical appearance will correlate to high-quality services and care. You must do your homework. Any nursing home that accepts Medicaid, Medicare, or other government funding is required to adhere to regular inspections. Ask a nursing home on your short-list to see their records. You can also contact an area long-term care ombudsman, your state health department, or search Medicare’s online “Nursing Home Compare” tool.
3. Visit, ask questions, and look for warning signs. There is no substitute for visiting a nursing home and seeing it with your own two eyes. Once you have developed a checklist of priorities and approve the facility’s reputation, it is time to visit with your elder parent. Make an appointment with the managing director and nursing manager. Ask questions and note any potential warning signs. Seek feedback from your parent. If all goes well, review any contracts and follow-up before signing on the dotted line.
Making the right decision will not only provide the care your senior loved one needs and deserves, it will also deliver peace of mind to the entire family. Our firm can help you navigate these challenges. Get in touch with us today to schedule a meeting.