Evaluating a nursing home can be incredibly difficult. Why? Well, it is almost always your first time doing such an evaluation, so you can often lose the forest for the trees. Placing a person in a nursing home can be a real emotional and stressful decision. Sooner or later, however, many older seniors simply need the professional assistance and care that they can no longer provide themselves. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, the prevalence of nursing home decisions will become more common each and every year.
There are many major things that go into evaluating whether a nursing home is a good choice for a family member. They include the basic, familiar issues like licensing and the care provided. As with many things, however, the devil is in the details. Whether a resident enjoys or dislikes a nursing home often comes down to small items. Here are a few to keep in mind when touring homes.
One of the biggest items residents want control of in a nursing home actually is so obvious that many of us don’t think of it – temperature control. A living area that is to cold or hot is miserable. When looking at rooms, make sure that the temperature in the room can be controlled by your family member. A nursing home that has one temperature control for an entire floor or building is a bad choice.
Exercise is a huge issue for seniors as well. Does the nursing home offer up a weak selection, or does it really try to make a difference. Yoga is excellent for seniors as it loosens up the body and joints. Look for a strong exercise program as it provides exercise and social interaction.
We are a faith based society. If your family member is a member of a particular religious organization, it goes without saying that you probably want to make sure the home offers worship services. If they do not have onsite services, they may offer transportation to an appropriate place of worship. Make sure to find out.
People do not remain in a static condition. We also happen to be proud. Mix these two together and you get a situation where residents fail to speak up about changes in their health. As a result, you need to find out how often the home does re-evaluation of the condition of residents. It should be at least once a year with a biannual review being better.
Finally, take time to get a feel for the home. Ask to have some private time to walk around the home and grounds without a nursing home staff member. Do residents look happy? Is the place somewhere you can see your family member living or being happy? Is it a warm place that feels like a community or a cold place that feels like a hospital?
Take the time to get a feel for the home, taste the food, and trust your instincts in making the evaluation. Sweat the small things because the small things are largely what differentiates one nursing home from another.