How to Pick the Correct Nursing Home for Your Loved One

When selecting a nursing home for your loved one, nothing is more important than their safety, well-being, and quality of life. This decision holds tremendous weight, as it will determine the level of care and support they receive in a long-term care facility.

To make an informed choice, you must consider various factors, from the quality of care and staff qualifications to facility amenities and resident satisfaction. This comprehensive guide will delve into the crucial aspects you should evaluate when choosing a nursing home. By arming yourself with knowledge and conducting thorough research, you can ensure your loved one receives the compassionate, attentive, and nurturing environment they deserve.

Determine Your Loved One’s Needs

Begin the process by assessing your loved one’s specific care needs. For example, consider their medical conditions, mobility level, and any specialized care requirements.

Determine if they require assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, or medication management. Understanding their needs will help you narrow down your search to nursing homes that can provide the appropriate level of care and support.  

Unless you work in health care, it is very hard to understand all of your loved one’s needs. This is why you should rely on treating physicians and clinicians to educate you on exactly what level of care and services will help keep your loved one safe.  Never be afraid or shy about asking health professionals questions when it comes to keeping your family safe while selecting a nursing home.

Get Recommendations from People You Trust

It can be challenging to know if a nursing home provides the appropriate level of care you’re looking for. Getting recommendations from friends and family, your loved one’s healthcare provider, or others you trust can be vital in deciding if a facility is right for your loved one.

Research and Visit Potential Nursing Homes

Compile a list of potential nursing homes based on recommendations, online research, and referrals from healthcare professionals. Searching for Medicare and Medicaid facilities is another excellent place to start. Then, take the time to visit each facility in person to assess the environment, cleanliness, and overall atmosphere.

Speak with staff members, observe interactions between staff and residents, and ask questions regarding the facility’s policies, services, and activities. Depending on the health of your family member, types of questions to ask staff members may include:

  1. How often will staff check on my family member in their room?
  2. What is the schedule of activities each day?
  3. How do you monitor my loved one’s nutrition?
  4. What happens if my family member becomes confused?
  5. How do you reduce the chances my family member will fall in your facility?
  6. How many people are assigned to help transfer my loved one to and from beds and chairs?
  7. How do you ensure that staff is following the rules?

Also, consider the location and proximity to family members, as regular visits play a crucial role in maintaining social connections.

Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable with a facility after a visit, it’s probably best to keep looking for a suitable alternative.

Evaluate Quality of Care

Quality of care is of utmost importance when selecting a nursing home. The quality of care is directly related to the (a) staff-to-resident ratio, (b) hours staff are on call, (c) training the staff receives, and (d) holding staff accountable for not abiding by safety rules. Family members can learn about this information by looking for facilities that are licensed, certified, and have a good reputation. Research their ratings and reviews, both from government sources and independent organizations, including Yelp and Google. 

More staff working to assist patient care is usually better from a patient safety stand point.  This is because adequate staffing ensures personalized attention and prompt assistance. Also, getting assurance that nurses are on staff 24/7, including holidays, is essential.

Inquire about the training and qualifications of the staff, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and certified nursing assistants. Make sure there is a training program that all staff must complete each year while working at the facility. Also make sure there are re-trainings performed regularly throughout the year.  

Additionally, consider whether the facility offers specialized care programs tailored to your loved one’s needs, such as memory care for individuals with dementia.

Consider Facility Amenities and Services

Take note of the facility’s amenities and services, as they contribute to the quality of life for your loved one. Evaluate the cleanliness and comfort of resident rooms, common areas, and dining facilities.

Inquire about meal options, dietary accommodations, and the availability of social and recreational activities. Outdoor spaces, gardens, and therapy areas are also essential for residents’ well-being. In addition, amenities like libraries, beauty salons, and religious services can enhance the overall living experience.

Assess Resident Satisfaction

Speaking with current residents and their families can provide valuable insights into the nursing home’s quality of care. Request references or ask if you can speak with a few residents or their family members. Inquire about their experiences, the level of care provided, and their overall satisfaction with the facility.

Pay attention to any concerns or complaints raised and how they were addressed by the nursing home staff. This feedback can give you a clearer understanding of the facility’s strengths and weaknesses.

Financial Considerations

Evaluate the cost of care and determine if it aligns with your loved one’s financial situation. Inquire about payment options, including private pay, insurance coverage, and Medicaid availability.

Understand the billing process and any additional charges for specialized services or care needs. It’s crucial to ensure that the chosen nursing home is financially sustainable for the long term, without compromising the quality of care.

Pullano & Siporin, Chicago Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys

Choosing the right nursing home for your loved one requires thorough research, careful evaluation, and consideration of their unique needs. By focusing on the tips in this article, you can make an informed decision that provides your loved one with a safe, supportive, and enriching environment.

At Pullano & Siporin, we understand how difficult the decision can be to place a loved one in a nursing home. We understand the seriousness of nursing home neglect and are dedicated to helping victims get the justice and compensation they deserve.

Contact us today for a consultation if your loved one has been a victim of nursing home negligence.

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