Nursing homes are a popular choice for many seniors who have outlived their years in the workforce. With an aging population and more individuals living on their own, there is currently a shortage of nursing home beds, which makes it challenging to find one near you. To help you along your journey of searching for the proper care facility for you or your close one, we have compiled this list of things that should be considered when evaluating potential facilities:
- Nursing home staff: Nurses are trained professionals who help with daily living activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, incontinence issues, mobility assistance, and more. They also monitor blood pressure levels and medication dosages at regular intervals according to the doctor’s orders. When looking into a potential facility, these services may not be readily available due to high staff turnover rates, so check how much staff turnover there has been in the past year.
Another important consideration is how often they have worked with dementia patients as well as their previous experience and training for working with those who are visually impaired, hearing-impaired, or wheelchair-bound.
- Nursing Home Environment: A pleasant environment can help make your time spent at a nursing home more enjoyable while providing you peace of mind that your loved one will be cared for properly. You should also consider its location to ensure it’s near doctors’ offices where necessary medical services may need to occur during an emergency situation. In addition, facilities that offer outdoor activities such as gardening can provide vitamin D from natural sunlight exposure which helps reduce depression and improve moods among residents.
- Medical care available: It is essential to know which services are available at the nursing home. For example, if your close one has dementia, it is necessary to know whether there will be 24-hour care available and what type of care they offer. It’s also a good idea to know ahead of time how often they’ll have doctor visits or other medical tests done because these can become expensive quickly due to their lack of insurance coverage.
Cleanliness: You should expect that a clean environment means fewer germs for you or your loved ones who frequent the facility, as well as lower rates of infection among residents. This is especially important when considering long-term health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, where bacteria in food may cause more cognitive decline than actual memory loss itself.
- Personal safety measures: Nursing homes need to take measures to ensure that residents are safe and can’t hurt themselves or others. Some safety features you should check include a security system with roving guards, an alarm at every door, so staff knows when someone is leaving without permission, private rooms instead of shared rooms where possible, and childproof locks on cabinets or drawers in case they aren’t aware enough to remember not to open them. You can check out SeniorSite as it offers an easier way to look around for senior care facilities.
- Close proximity to family members: One important thing when choosing an assisted care facility is how easy it would be for friends and family members to visit them in the future. A location near public transportation routes could make visits easier if your loved ones don’t have access to cars. In addition, within-state residents often get priority over out-of-state applicants during admissions, so it’s a good idea to make sure the facility is within your state.
- Food quality: A critical component of senior care is nutrition. The food options, quality, and availability should be reviewed carefully to ensure the best possible experience for your loved ones. Does the facility offer two or more entrees? What types of dishes are served? Is there room to cook in your loved one’s kitchenette area? Do they have vegetarians on staff who can cook customized vegetarian diets? Are alternative flours used in their pastries and bread, such as almond flour or oat flour?
- Pets: While not everyone is an animal lover, pets can make life easier for senior citizens during difficult days when they’re alone. If you want your loved one to get along well with animals from the beginning, be sure to inquire about pet policies before you sign any contracts. It will also be helpful to find out if they have animal therapy services.
- Dignity: When you are looking at facilities, it’s essential to consider how they cater to the needs of their residents in terms of dignity, among other things such as cleanliness. Dignity can include everything from privacy protections (such as private showers) or general decorum with staff geared towards respectfulness.
- Noteworthy Features: Some nursing homes offer specialized programs to meet the needs of residents with disabilities. The most popular services offered in this regard are sign language interpreters and wheelchair-accessible ramps, but some facilities also have specially trained staff for people who need physical or occupational therapy as well. These types of features can be a great boon when it comes to feeling comfortable while you’re away from home.
- Socialization opportunities: It might seem like an afterthought when seniors live alone, but socializing is a key part of staying healthy, so make sure that they have ample opportunities to do this on-site, if not right outside the building! These opportunities could include things like a library, activity rooms, and even small gardens. Senior living facilities that provide these types of activities on site will be best suited to your needs as you grow older.
- Your budget: You don’t want to be paying more than you can afford, not only because of the cost but also for your peace of mind. When evaluating costs, make sure that they are reasonable and competitive. It’s also important to note that several resources are available for seniors, such as government programs or loans from banks.
- Quality: To ensure that you or a loved one will receive the best care possible, it’s essential to look at both quality and reliability in nursing homes since there is no guarantee on who might move into them after this next year! Take note if any have been cited before by state officials with citations given out based on health violations which could include things like inadequate staffing levels or unsanitary conditions. You’ll want to make sure those types of issues aren’t happening right now when making your decision!
It’s helpful to take this information into account when looking for a nursing home, as it will help narrow down your search.