None of us want to consider a time when our parent is unable to live safely alone. There may come a time, however, when your parent is no longer able to remain independent. Instead, he or she may need to move out of the family home and into a long-term care facility.
Depending on the level of care your parent needs, he or she may need to move into a skilled nursing facility. This is also referred to as a nursing home. In order to ensure this relocation is as easy as possible, you may need to be the one who selects the facility. This may also be the situation you find yourself in if your parent is in crisis and can no longer choose for him or herself.
How do you choose the right nursing home for your parent? Choosing the right facility for your parent is a serious responsibility. You want your parent to be as happy as possible and to receive the best possible medical care. Yet, you also may have logistical concerns and want your parent to be in a location that is easy to access for you and your family so you may visit frequently.
Finding the best facility based on your own qualifications can be a challenge. Let us share a few of the key points to consider when choosing a nursing home that we share with our clients.
1. Location is important, but it’s not everything. While it’s normal to want your parent’s nursing home to be in close proximity to where you live, try to avoid basing your entire search on location. Decide how far of a drive you are willing to frequently make if you live in the same town as your parent and try to broaden your search radius as much as possible based on facility qualifications. If you live in another town or state, consider where you will stay when you visit. Is there a hotel nearby? Can you stay at your parent’s home.
2. Make sure the staff is qualified to meet your parent’s medical needs. Seniors need to live in nursing homes for many reasons. If your parent is entering a nursing home because of a specific medical issue or condition, research to make sure the staff is fully qualified. There are some facilities that specialize in certain types of care and others that will honestly tell you they are not equipped to manage the care needed. Begin your search by looking at nursing homes that have a dedication to your parent’s specific care needs.
3. Visit the locations in person. Searching nursing homes online is a great way to find out the basics such as location, areas of specialization, and state ratings. However, you can tell much more about the atmosphere and the level of care when you visit it in person. Keep an eye out for odors, level of cleanliness and the overall cleanliness of current patients.
4. Interview the staff during your visit. You can develop a sense of the compassion at a facility when you visit. To the extent possible, you want your parent to be surrounded with positive, friendly faces who genuinely enjoy the work they do. If staff seem disconnected or uninterested in the residents, there may be cause for concern. Do you hesitate to ask residents of their opinions and interview the employees you meet.
5. Online reviews are helpful to review. It is important to get an all-encompassing understanding of how current, previous and potential residents and their loved ones feel about this specific facility. Read all the reviews that are available everywhere. Do not only look at the five star reviews. You also need to read the one or two star reviews to see what grievances people have had with the facility.
We know this can be a challenging time for your and your parents. Do not wait to contact our office and let us help you. We work with seniors and their loved ones every day and look forward to supporting you with your elder law concerns.