Nursing homes act as a sanctuary for those suffering from serious illness or post-surgery recovery that cannot recuperate at home but no longer require the immediate aid of a hospital. For many, these facilities become a permanent destination, and it’s critically important that your loved one is matched with the location that acts as the best and most beneficial “fit” for them individually.

Towards that end, there are a number of considerations to be made. Let’s take a look at these considerations by discussing the top tips in choosing between nursing homes.

Make a List of Needs

Before you go into the process, you’ll want to already know what’s important to you and your loved one. Sure, quality nursing care is a given, but are you also looking for hospice care? Do you require a Special Care Unit that can cater to those suffering from dementia, for example? Maybe you’re looking for a place with a religious affiliation?

Additionally, there are facilities that are designed to mimic hospitals, and those that instead are designed more like a home. Have your preferences mapped out ahead of time.

Check for Important Requirements

No matter the facility, you’ll want to ensure that there are certain needs and qualifications that are met. The home will need to feature handicap access, Medicaid and Medicare certification, and on-site, 24-hour nurses. This is by no means a comprehensive list of attractive qualifications, but you’ll want to ensure any nursing homes under consideration for your “short list” fulfill at least these requirements.

Make Visits

Don’t rely on word-of-mouth and online listings alone. Physically visit nursing homes on your short list prior to committing to one. You will want to see the facilities yourself and ensure that the features and ambiance of the home match-up with your expectations.

Survey Employees

Get to know the folks working at the facility. You’ll want to gauge their personality and make an attempt to ascertain whether they are happy performing their duties. Specifically, be sure to ask about their working habits. If they’re being forced into regularly working double shifts and significant overtime, you’ll know that this is a location that is short staffed and thus not the best fit for your loved one.

Pay Attention to Staff-Patient Interactions

Keep your ears open during your visit. Gauge how the staff speaks with their residents. This is a fantastic sign as to how your loved one will be treated. Keep in mind that if you overhear moaning or cries from certain rooms that this is not necessarily an indicator of unacceptable patient treatment. Instead, it may simply be the onset of dementia or a related disease.

Understand Costs

Check with government-provided aid (state or federal) as well as any private insurance providers to gauge how they plan to cover the costs of care. Keep in mind that there are different ways to pay for a nursing facility, whether you’re paying out of pocket or using state/federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. There is also long-term care insurance available that carries its own unique set of benefits, so be sure to check with your insurance company about this possibility, and read over any potential policy choices carefully to ensure you understand who is paying for what.


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