Has the time finally come to start thinking of a place for your loved one to spend their life?
This isn’t an easy decision. You want your loved one to be able to support themselves, but sometimes you can’t do that when you’re older.
Luckily you have a lot of options when looking for a nursing home. There are now over 15,000 homes in the United States available for you.
With all your options, how do you pick the right one? There are a few questions to ask a nursing home that will help determine if they are a good fit.
Keep reading to learn what those questions are
1. What Is the Patient to Staff Ratio
If you place someone in a home, then you need to make sure the facility has the correct number of staff to provide the proper care.
Most staff members can take care of a certain number of patients at once. Once they are caring for more than that number, the quality of care will go down.
Ask a nursing home how many patients they have and how much staff they employ.
This will let you know how much attention your loved one will get while they are there.
2. What Services Are Offered?
Different homes offer different things. You need to make sure that a facility will meet all your loved one’s needs.
A nursing home is a more comprehensive service. It differs from assisted living because many of the patients in a nursing home can’t take care of themselves.
Assisted living residents can usually take better care of their needs.
But you should still double check the services offered to make sure that they can meet your medical needs.
Ask about dementia, bathing, cooking, and cleaning services. Are these things included in the price or do you have to pay extra for them?
3. What Is the Staff Turnover
Consistency is vital during someone’s end of life care. You want the same nurses to be taking care of your family the majority of the time.
When things continuously change, the nursing staff doesn’t get enough time to learn about their patients. This means they don’t know their preferences and the best ways to take care of them.
A significant turnover can also indicate problems with the facility itself. If the staff isn’t happy there and leaves quickly, it could point to issues with management.
4. Is the Facility Accredited?
When a facility takes the extra steps needed to become accredited, it shows that they are willing to go the extra mile to provide excellent service.
Ideally, you should sign up with a nursing home that takes these steps.
It might not be a deal breaker, but it can set a home apart from the competition.
5. What Are Living Conditions Like?
Do you want your loved one to live the rest of their life in a dull grey room that doesn’t have any personality to it?
When you take a tour of a facility, ask your tour guide to show you how the standard room looks.
A little bit of variety can make a big difference in the mood of the elderly. Ask if patients are allowed to have plants in their room to spruce things up.
Also, check the recreational areas to see how the nursing home decorates them.
The more there is to see and do, the better chance of an enjoyable nursing home stay.
6. Has the Nursing Home Had Previous Care Problems
You need reassurance that your loved one will be safe when they are in a nursing home. Make sure to check into any legal problems that the nursing home has had in the past.
If there is a pattern that shows regular problems, then you might want to skip the home you are looking at.
If you want to know more about nursing home abuse, you can head over to FRP Legal for more info.
7. What Payment Is Accepted?
You might be able to pay for a nursing home out of pocket in the beginnings, but things change. The average cost of a nursing home is $253 per day.
That adds up to a lot over time.
Ask the nursing home what forms of payment they will take?
If you need to rely on government assistance, then the nursing home you chose needs to accept it.
You can also ask the nursing home if they offer any financing assistance. They deal with situations like yours regularly.
The chances are good that they have ways to help.
8. How Are Patients Calmed Down?
The last thing you want is your loved one to be on mind-altering medication when it isn’t needed. Ask the nursing home how they handle situations that require them to calm patients down.
It’s now against the law to use restraints, so you don’t need to worry about that.
But the use of anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medicine is on the rise. Nursing homes shouldn’t do this without your consent, so make sure that the facility you chose won’t go down this route.
9. What Reports Are Given To The Family?
It’s essential to know how your family is doing when they are in a nursing home. Ask the facility what kind of reporting is done.
You can only get so much information during your visits so you will need to be filled in about the rest.
10. Can You Speak With Other Residents?
If you want to get a first-hand account about life at a facility, you won’t get a better one than from other residents and their families.
Ask a nursing home if they have any current patients that would be willing to talk about their time there.
They can let you know about the good and bad of living there.
Keep These Questions to Ask a Nursing Home in Mind
You shouldn’t rush into picking a nursing home for your loved one. Take your time and do your research.
These questions to ask a nursing home should provide you what you need to get started. You should have more questions based on what you need.
Once you find a home, it’s time to work on keeping your loved one healthy. Head over to our health blog for tips that will help.