You'll have a lot of things to think about when choosing a long-term care facility for your loved ones. For one, you'll want the absolute best nursing facility available.
At the same time, however, you may be constrained by financial concerns, availability and other matters that are completely out of your control.
A 7-point checklist for nursing homes
While deliberating the best place to suit your loved one's needs, here are seven things to think about:
- Is the food any good? One way to make people miserable is to give them unpalatable food. If the food at the nursing home doesn't look like something you'd enjoy, it could become a serious issue for your loved one later on down the road.
- Is it peaceful and quiet? Some nursing home facilities have patients suffering from dementia, screaming, moaning and yelling out for help day in and day out. This can be a very unsettling and uncomfortable environment to live in for your loved one.
- Does the facility smell bad? Smells will also affect your loved one's comfort level. Make sure that the nursing home smells clean and fresh.
- Does the staff look relaxed and happy? A stressed or overly weary staff member is a red flag that the home doesn't have enough staff on hand to tend to your loved one's needs.
- Are fun activities available? Check to see what kinds of activities and social events are available, and whether it looks like the residents enjoy them.
- Are the staff treating each other well? Check to see how the staff members act toward one another. A red flag would be any signs of agitation or strained relations between coworkers.
- Do patients show signs of abuse? Look for possible signs of patients being mistreated. As patients age, bruising is normal, but generally not when the bruising is on the upper arms or when patients have hand- or finger-shaped marks on their bodies.
Does your loved one need long-term care?
If your mother or father needs to go to a long-term care facility, make sure you understand what they need, and what a potential nursing home can provide. Also, make sure your loved one has all of his or her legal ducks in a row to protect his or her wealth from being depleted by paying nursing home bills.