If your mother or father is getting to the age where they need to enter a nursing home, it can be a difficult decision to make. You want to do all you can to guarantee that they’ll be cared for and receive support.
When choosing a nursing home, there are a lot of things to consider. Here is some information that may help you choose the right nursing home for your loved one.
Considering care options
To start with, you’ll want to look into the kind of care provided at the nursing home. You may be interested in a nursing home that offers:
- Special care for dementia patients
- Physical therapy
- Religious connections and services
- Hospice care
- Prepared meals
You may also have other services in mind that you should ask about. Remember, nursing homes can have a wide range of services, so not all of them offer the same services to their patients.
Getting to know staffing ratios
Another thing to do is to ask about staff-to-patient ratios. This will fluctuate, since patients and staff members come and go, but in general, you want to know that the staff has enough hands to care for the residents. Nursing home staffing ratios may vary, so be sure to ask when you visit. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a nursing home with fewer patients to each nurse.
Visiting the nursing home
When you visit the nursing home, you should be looking for a few things. You should:
- Look at how the staff is interacting with patients
- Consider any unusual smells or issues in the nursing home, like dirty areas or a heavy scent of urine or ammonia
- Try the food, if possible, so you know if it’s healthy and catered to the residents’ needs (some nursing homes may prepare additional meals for visiting family members upon request)
- Visit again a second, unannounced time, so you can see any issues you didn’t notice the first time or when the staff knew you were coming
Choosing a nursing home isn’t easy, and it will take time and research to decide which nursing home is right for your mom or dad. If you take the time to talk to residents, their family members, the staff and go out of your way to visit the facility a few times, you’ll get a better feel for how the nursing home is run and how the residents are treated there.