Making The Nursing Home Choice

Making The Nursing Home Choice

While placing a​ loved one in​ a​ nursing home is​ a​ difficult decision, there may come a​ time when it​ is​ the right one. it​ will help if​ you do your homework and trust your instincts.

According to​ the Department of​ Health and Human Services, the nation’s nursing homes provide care to​ over 1.5 million people. Over 90% of​ these residents are over age 65. Most of​ the residents are frail and require round-the-clock supervision due to​ dementia.

Things You Need to​ Know

A nursing home is​ a​ residence that provides room, meals, nursing and rehabilitative care, medical services and protective supervision to​ its residents. While someone coming from the hospital may require the services of​ many long-term care professionals such as​ nurses, therapists and social workers, a​ nursing home is​ not a​ hospital (acute care) setting. The goal at​ a​ nursing home is​ to​ help people maintain as​ much of​ their independent functioning as​ possible in​ a​ supportive environment.

Choosing a​ Facility

One of​ the first things to​ consider when making a​ nursing home choice is​ the needs of​ the individual for whom you’re providing care, suggest experts at​ the MetLife Mature Market Institute®. Make a​ list of​ the special care they need, such as​ dementia care or​ various types of​ therapy.

If the person is​ hospitalized, the discharge planner and/or social workers can assist you in​ assessing the needs of​ the individual and locating the appropriate facility.

If you are choosing a​ nursing facility for someone who is​ presently at​ home, ask for referrals from your physician, Area Agency on Aging, friends, and family.

Other factors such as​ location, cost, the quality of​ care, services, size, religious and cultural preferences, and accommodations for special care need to​ be considered.

When you’ve located a​ few facilities that you’d like to​ consider more thoroughly, plan on visiting each one, both with scheduled and unscheduled visits, and at​ different times and on different days of​ the week.

As you are walking around, take note of​ what you hear and don’t hear. is​ it​ silent? is​ there activity? How clean does it​ look? Are the residents dressed appropriately for the season? Most importantly, find out the ratio of​ nurses to​ residents is​ and what is​ the staff turnover rate?

Helpful Hints

When you’ve finally decided on a​ facility, you should know your rights and those of​ your family member. Before you or​ the resident sign the admissions agreement, understand what you’re signing, and do not sign any paperwork unless everything has been fully explained.

The admissions contract should, at​ a​ minimum, contain the daily room rate, reasons for discharge and transfer from the nursing home, and the policy regarding payment of​ the daily room rate if​ the resident goes to​ the hospital or​ the family brings the resident home for a​ short period of​ time.

You may question if​ you’re really making the right decision to​ place your loved one in​ a​ facility at​ all. Remember, you can do no more than your best, and if​ you’ve done that, neither you nor your family member can ask any more of​ you.

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