6 Tasks to Find a Good Nursing Home

  • Bruno Rice
  • December 18, 2018

Are you looking for an ideal nursing home for your loved one?

Although finding an ideal nursing home is a difficult task, a number of factors can make this task easier, or at least not too hard. It’s all about your approach and patience. Here are a few ways you can make sure your loved one ends up in a good nursing home:

1. Decide on the Most Ideally Located Nursing Home

If you are looking for a short-term stay, a nursing home closer to the patient’s home is ideal. However, if the patient has a chronic condition that requires long-term care, it is expedient to look for a nursing home that is near family members involved in taking care of the patient. Although it is tempting to take your loved one to a nearby nursing home, if the relatives live far away, they will find it difficult, unaffordable or even impossible to visit them.

Moving a patient near supportive relatives may be a challenge at the beginning, but in the end, this could turn out to be the best option for everyone involved. Besides, if the cost of professional nursing care is too high where a patient lives, moving them to a state or province where most of the relatives are and nursing costs are affordable is recommended.

2. Consider Nursing Homes That Accept Government Insurance Programs

Chances are the government provides free or highly subsidized health insurance programmes. For instance, in US Medicare provides a free health insurance coverage for Americans aged 65 years and above. If your loved one is within this bracket, you want to be sure the nursing home you enrol them in is Medicare or Medicaid approved. Look for all the nursing homes in your region with Medicare or Medicaid cover.

3. Look for Nursing Homes Offering Specialized Care

If your patient has a condition that requires specialized care, make sure the nursing home has professional staff qualified in specialist care. For instance, patients with dementia or those who require hospice care, pain management, or rehabilitative physical therapy need special care and attention at a nursing home.

4. Check Their Reputation

When selecting the ideal nursing home, reputation should precede service. Go with a nursing home with the best reputation. Once you settle on the ideal location and you have checked other key issues such as insurance and service specialty, talk to co-workers, neighbours, friends and others to establish if they have in the past interacted with the homes on your list. How was their experience like? You can also check online reviews and comments from people with experience in the homes you are considering.

5. Schedule an Appointment

Once you have narrowed down your shortlist to a couple of potential nursing homes, your next step is to request an appointment to get a sense of how they are run. Ideally, you should visit every prospective home at least twice to get a feel of how they look like at different times and under different circumstances. Be sure to ask the staff a number of questions during your visits.

If you are not in a position to visit them before the date of your patient’s admission, get a trusted friend, colleague or a family member to do so on your behalf and report to you. The key is to ask the staff as many questions as possible. You may also want to interview other patients if they are cooperative. Watch for non-verbal signals as they respond to your questions since these could tell you more than their answers.

6. Make a Decision

Once you have visited the homes on your list and interrogated their staff and, if you are lucky, some of their patients, it’s time to make a decision. Base your decision on facts, information from family members, the patient’s physician, and online reviews and comments.

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