If your parents are aging then you might find yourself concerned about what their future care will look like. Most people want their parents to grow old in their own homes, but oftentimes this simply isn’t a feasible option. This reality usually drives people to consider nursing homes. If that idea leaves you uneasy, you’re not alone. Yet, with some careful consideration, you might be able to secure a nursing home placement for your mother or father that suits their needs and ensures that they receive the care, support, and socialization they need and deserve.

Of course, there are a lot of things to take into account when assessing nursing homes. To start, you need to think about what is most important to you and your parent. If it’s adequate nutrition, religious affiliations, or a specialized type of care for those with certain medical conditions, then your search can be narrowed significantly. You might also want to talk to people you know to see if anyone has any recommendations.

Once you’ve identified some possibilities, then you need to dig into what each nursing home has to offer. Oftentimes the best way to do this is to actually visit the nursing homes in order to get a sense of the kind of care and treatment residents are receiving. By doing so you can see how the residents look and act, how employees interact with residents, and whether the home is clean and accessible. If you have any concerns, you need to bring them up. Ask questions to make sure you fully understand what the nursing home has to offer, what its limitations are, and the security you’ll have in placing your loved one there.

After identifying a nursing home that looks right for you and your parent, you’ll want to carefully consider any contract that is pushed your way. A lot of times people are quick to sign off on these without really reading them, but doing so could trap you in some obligations that you don’t expect. Be diligent.

Engaging in long-term care planning for yourself or a loved one can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to make the process easier. If you’d like to learn more about what you can do, consider discussing the matter with professionals in the field, which may include an attorney.