Older people, from parents to grandparents, are cherished by all but in today’s fast-paced world, it can be difficult to look out for them while also fulfilling your other responsibilities. Moreover, if you don’t live in the same state or city, it’s hard not to worry about them.
With the ongoing pandemic and increasing average lifespan across the globe, the elderly population requires care more than ever. A skilled nursing facility is a fantastic care solution, providing individualized treatment, state-of-the-art equipment and spaces, and specialist staff to look after all residents.
Keep in mind that your nursing facility selection should be one that looks out for both the patient’s mental and physical health. Here are some of the other crucial things to consider while choosing a nursing facility for your elderly relatives:
Ask Their Opinion
Before you make any decisions, ask for opinions from your loved one and see which options they feel comfortable with. Ask what sort of things will make the home more enjoyable for them, whether it’s quality food or recreational facilities. After all, they’re going to be living in the nursing facility, so they should have an equal say in the choice.
However, if due to any impairment or prevalent condition, they cannot make an informed decision, you should step in and seek advice from professional caregivers, doctors, and specialists. In such cases, the medical facilities of a nursing home will naturally become the most important aspect to ensure your loved one’s health and well being.
Location And Size
Location is vital for both the care receiver and their loved ones. If you want to stay close to your elderly relatives, you should search for a nursing facility close to your home or workplace to enable regular visits.
Along with location, size also plays an integral role in health and wellbeing. Whether you opt for a smaller, boutique facility or a larger one with more amenities is a personal choice. Either way, the chosen nursing facility should be big enough to provide your elderly loved ones with a friendly environment and sufficient space for each resident. The best facilities will have recreational and entertainment centers, and enough private space for you to spend time alone with your family member.
Essential and extra services are important factors to consider when selecting an aged care facility for your loved one.
You need to look at the services on offer, such as:
- In-house medical care
- Specialists on call (e.g. neurologists, psychologists)
- Nutritious meals
- Specialist equipment and infrastructure
- Recreational activities (e.g. clubs, weekly movie nights, etc.)
For instance, the facility’s dining system and the type of food served daily must be a key consideration. Nursing facilities should provide nutritious meals, but they also need to look after special dietary needs of residents. Some residents may have diabetes or other chronic conditions with specific dietary requirements. To ascertain the meal services on offer, try visiting nursing facilities during lunch or dinner hours, if possible.
Your loved one will interact with staff every day when they live in a nursing facility. Therefore, you must assess the nursing staff at your facility of choice, to ensure they have adequate caregiving skills and training. They should be certified and licensed, according to the requirements in your state of residence, and equipped with all necessary skills to deal with elderly individuals.
Aside from practical abilities, it’s important to gage how staff at your chosen facility typically interact with residents, as you’ll want to ensure they’ll maintain a warm and caring relationship with your elderly loved one.
Another important element to gauge is the overall environment of your chosen facility. When touring a prospective home, you should assess whether the environment seems adequate and safe in terms of both physical infrastructures, such as slip hazards and the atmosphere of the facility. Check what sort of leisure activities are on offer and whether residents seem happy. If the facility lacks entertainment and the mood is gloomy, it may not be a great place for your loved one to live.
Prior Record And Safety Violations
Another critical factor to check is prior records. It’s essential to do research on any nursing facility and seek external reviews from other people before signing a contract. Do an online search of the facility you’re considering and run it through government regulators to check their safety record. Possible red flags include a history of breaches, fines, and poor reviews from other families of residents.
Lack Of Specialized Infrastructure
Suppose you find your facility of choice lacks adequate infrastructure to cater to your loved one; cross it out immediately. Chronic conditions associated with old age like heart problems and respiratory issues require acute care and equipment. You shouldn’t place your loved ones into amateur and ill-equipped nursing facilities.
If your loved ones suffer from dementia, for instance, then it’s pertinent you choose a nursing facility with infrastructure to handle such individuals, as well as staff qualified to provide specialized treatment.
The Bottom Line
Before you choose a nursing facility for your elderly loved one, remember that your decision must focus on their wellbeing. They deserve the best. So, assess factors like services, location, and infrastructure, as well as asking what your relative would prefer. Visit the nursing home before signing a contract, and once you’ve moved your family member in, make sure you frequently visit them. After all, they need your love and support just as much as they need a good environment and proper care.