Whatever the circumstances, making a decision on skilled nursing, rehabilitation or retirement living for someone you love is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever face. Even if you find a facility you like, that doesn’t mean your parent or grandparent will like living there. Here are a few tips to help you through this delicate decision.
Check Out Facility Reputations
Don’t be embarrassed to go into detective mode when selecting a nursing home. If you go about it methodically, then the process can be straight-forward. Check out the online and on-the-street reputation of the skilled nursing or rehabilitation facilities that spark your interest. Following the tips below to nvestigate the results of regulatory inspections.
- Make sure the nursing home license is displayed and current.
- A reputable facility will post information regarding resident rights, which is available by contacting you state’s ombudsman for elder care in nursing and rehabs Atlanta.
- You can contact the ombudsman directly to file complaints or to inquire into any outstanding complaints or lawsuits pending against the home. Go to the LTCO website to find contact information for your state ombudsman.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ has a pamphlet that gives quality ratings and inspection results for each facility.
Make Your Loved One Part of the Decision Process
Most people needing long-term care have the awareness to offer opinions about the final choice. Don’t just do your research and select what you like best. You won’t know until you are in a facility with your aging family member where he will be happy.
Your loved one will almost certainly resist the idea at first mention. That is why it is so important to visit several facilities to evaluate them together. Involving elders with the decisions will minimize disagreements. If he resists the idea completely, still give him options within boundaries that work for the whole family.
Try Out the Recreation Available
On a funner note, the core of any great rehabilitation program is the activities offered. Mental stimulation is key to promoting healing and adjustment. Find out where your loved one will spend most of the day and spend several hours there prior to making a commitment. The mood and feel of the space should be positive with lots of interaction between patients. Notice the expressions on residents’ faces. Do they seem alert and happy?
Common areas should be clean and well-cared for, and the staff should be welcoming and know residents by name. Food choice is also a consideration, although special diets are often required for aging patients. The recreational area should have a social calendar posted or available upon request. Hopefully, many of them will match your loved ones interests.
There is no guaranteed perfect place for senior housing. The process involves tangible and intangible decisions and a meeting of the minds with someone who may not be in full control of his mental abilities. Sometimes, even with all the planning and research, you will just have to your trust intuition to know when a place is the right.