What to Look for When Choosing a Nursing Home

As we get older and the natural process of aging begins to take its toll on our minds and bodies, it’s perfectly normal for people to need a little more help and care with day to day tasks.

This is why a lot of elderly individuals and their loved ones may try to find a nursing home, and there are a lot of options out there offering 24-hour supervision, quality food and drinks, comfortable surroundings, new friends, fun social activities, rehabilitation services, and plenty more.

However, it’s important to take your time when looking for nursing home and choose with care and consideration, as the simple fact of the matter is that there are tens of thousands of homes out there, and not all homes are equal in terms of the standards of care they provide.

Not only that, but some can be downright dangerous, with residents suffering actual physical abuse and emotional distress at the hands of those who are supposed to be providing them with care and respect.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top factors to think about when you want to find a quality nursing home and get the healthcare and support you need, either for yourself or for someone who is near and dear to you.

Take Your Time

The first and arguably most important tip of all when it comes to finding the right nursing home to meet your needs is to make sure you take your time and don’t feel rushed into making any kinds of decisions whatsoever. After all, a nursing home is supposed to be a living space for the final years of someone’s life, so it’s not something you want to choose on a whim or without doing due diligence.

Experts always recommend taking as much time as you need to compare your options, and a good way to start is to make use of online resources like searchable state databases of nursing homes to see what options are out there and find out a little more. This allows you to draw up a list of possibilities and then you can start narrowing down the options from there.

Always Visit in Person

Another useful tip to keep in mind when it comes to finding the right home and getting the care and support you need is making sure to visit the place in person. Don’t just rely on online text and a few simple photos, which could easily have been staged and edited to appear more attractive than the real thing. Instead, actually head out to the physical location with your family and take a tour of the facility.

This is one of the best ways to get a full and clear picture of any nursing home, and while you’re there, you can speak with other residents to get more of a feel for the place and understand whether people are truly happy there, ask questions of the staff to find out more about the services on offer, and explore the place itself to see the levels of cleanliness, hygiene, comfort, and so on.

Don’t Be Fooled

The fact of the matter is that even though nursing homes are, at their core, supposed to be places of warmth, care, and support, a lot of them are run purely and simply as businesses, designed to get the biggest profits and squeeze as much money out of their residents and residents’ families as possible. Some will go to great lengths to draw you in, decorating the place beautifully or boasting of long lists of activities and services on their nicely-designed websites.

However, it’s important to be able to differentiate the marketing side of a nursing home from the truth. You can’t simply rely on the home’s own website and staff to tell you everything you need to know, which is why it’s so important to speak with actual residents and look for real, unbiased reviews and testimonials. You also shouldn’t always be fooled by prices. The most expensive homes aren’t always the best, and it is possible to find good value options with staff who truly care about each and every resident.

Think Carefully About Location

The location of your chosen nursing home is also of great importance and is often one of the top factors to think about, especially for people who are very close with their families and plan to see each other often in the future. If you’re the prospective resident, you’ll probably want to have your family nearby just in case you need them, and if you’re sending a loved one to a home, you probably won’t want them to be too far to make it easier for you to visit.

Homes on the other side of the country or state can cause a lot of complications and inconveniences for all concerned. It might seem fun at first to head off to a home near the coast or in a warmer and sunnier spot, for example, but you do need to think about the logistics of visiting for the long-term.

Health Matters Most

When you’re looking at what a nursing home has to offer, it’s recommended to ensure that healthcare and medical standards remain your top concerns. Of course, it’s great to find a home that allows residents to try new things, engage with others, form new friendships, and partake in social activities, but the most important part of all is that they’re properly looked after.

So, when looking through homes and comparing your options, feel free to take a look at the lists of services and activities, but don’t base your decision purely on which home has the most social events or the longest list of facilities. Instead, take a closer look at how much training and experience the staff have in terms of healthcare and look out for any possible red flags.

Final Word

Finding a nursing home can feel like a challenge, but with the right approach and proper consideration of all the key factors, you can find the perfect place.