Thursday, 22 August 2013

Finding the right nursing home

Among all of the risk management and safety measures we take, seeing to the health and safety of our aging relatives is among the most important of those. While we don't like to think of our loved ones aging, when our parents come to a point of needing around the clock monitoring (but not hospitalization) and are no longer able to live independently, it's time to start looking for a nursing home. Key indications that it might be time for this include concerns you have about them eating properly, living the day-to-day safely, and managing their medications. Given that nursing home “shopping” isn't something we do as frequently as groceries, it's easy to feel intim
idated and overwhelmed by the whole process. So how do you go about choosing the right nursing home for your parents?

Probably the easiest place to begin your search is online. This will help you to determine what options there are in your neighbourhood of interest, and to read about what outside sources have to say about these various facilities. Take complaints that you read in reviews seriously; unfortunately, the abuse of elderly patients is a reality, and you want to do everything you can to avoid finding your family battling this. Word of mouth recommendations are amongst the most reliable, so if you have a good rapport with your family physician, consider his or her advice on the matter. Better yet, if you have a friend or close contact who has gone through this experience beforehand, ask them about the facility they chose, their contentedness with it, and any advice they may have for you at this point in the process.

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You should certainly plan on visiting any nursing home that you may be considering. Contrary to what you might think, setting up an appointment with a patient-relations specialist, while it may be useful in its own way, is not the ideal way to really gauge what the nursing home is truly like because such representatives will always be putting their best foot forward, and may not be around to see what takes place past their own working hours. Plan drop-in visits. If you are curious about meal quality and meal delivery, then drop in around supper time. Most of the day workers will have gone home by then, so you can really see the integrity of the staff in the absence of management then too.

Factors you will want to consider in determining that you are getting the very best placement for your loved ones include: effective and compassionate pain management, noise levels, planned entertainment for the residents, and high staff to patient ratios. While affordability will certainly play a role in choosing a facility, you should, to the best of your ability, make this the last bit of criteria you consider. Certainly, managing the costs of elderly long-term care can be taxing. One way to prepare for this is to purchase nursing home insurance early on, when the individual in question is relatively young and healthy. Doing so will alleviate the financial burden of long term care substantially.

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  1. Great tips! I am currently in the process of searching for nursing homes for my parents. I want something that can feel a bit more personal for them and less like a hospital. I am definitely looking for places that provide a bit of entertainment and have low patient-caregiver ratios. I am also not ruling out the possibility of at-home care. I have recently discovered New Jersey Senior Care. I really like their Visiting Angels option. It sounds like they go out of their way to provide personal care and their caregivers sound a bit like friends to their patients which I think is important.

  2. I agree 100% that you should plan on visiting any nursing home that you may be considering. If you are going to trust a place to take good care of your old-aged loved ones, it's important that you KNOW they're responsible. I'm looking for a nursing home for my mom right now and I certainly won't rest until I find the very best for her.

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