Choosing a Nursing Home
How do I choose a nursing home?
Choosing a nursing home is not a decision to make lightly. It can be very overwhelming for everyone involved, so knowing what to look for can ease the transition. Whether you are just beginning your search or if you have almost made a decision, there are some important things to consider before committing to a home for your loved one.
There are healthcare campuses throughout the nation and most are regulated by their states. However, this does not mean they are equal. It is important that you take time to visit facilities and become familiar and comfortable with their available services, employees, and living environments.
Familiarize yourself with the Resident's Bill of Rights. Each nursing home is required to know and abide by these. The Bill of Rights for nursing home residents includes (but is not limeted to) freedom from abuse, access to medical services, confidentiality, timely transfers and discharges. There are additional laws that regulate certain aspects of nursing homes. The Nursing Home Reform Act required proper staffing ratios, personalized care plans, and encouragment of resident choices. Nursing homes are required to provide a copy upon admission and make one available to the public.
Once you understand the purpose of a nursing home, you can begin looking at your loved ones needs. Facilities differ on services offered, and individual assessment should be done. Some facilities are better equipped to take care of specialized needs than others. The loved one may require intense supervision or could need only basic help with daily needs, which can be taken care of within assisted living nursing homes as opposed to skilled nursing homes. Understanding exactly what the individual's needs are will help in finding the best place for them.
The most important step in choosing a nursing home is visiting potential facilities. Calling and getting information over the telephone can help you narrow down your choices. You do notneed to spend a large amount of time in a nursing home at first glance. If you walk in and are not comfortable, will you loved one be? Find a knowledgable person and go over provided services. Take a tour of the facility and ask questions. Are the staff and residents interacting? Are they smiling? Before making that final selection, bring in the loved one. Even if he or she is opposed to living in a nursing home, you have to remember that it will be their home.
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