Seeing your loved one go from being active to becoming ill or sedentary is stressful and emotional. There’s a lot to think about, like where they’ll live and who will take care of them. In many cases, it falls to the elderly individual’s children to decide what’s best.
Some live close to their ailing family member and are able to care for them. Others are not so lucky. Living hundreds or thousands of miles away makes it difficult to provide the care and support needed.
Whether it’s your parents or another family member, there is a real possibility you may have to care for someone in their old age. They may need more care than you can provide, forcing you to put your relative in a nursing home. Since finding the right care facility can be trying, here’s some information to make it easier.
Step One: Types of Nursing Facilities
The kind of facility your loved one requires will depend on their needs. There are several types, each helping people at varying ages and levels of ability.
Independent Living: This type of care facility is like living in an apartment or condo. It’s ideal for people who don’t have major medical conditions and are able to care for themselves. Nurses are there to help but most residents care for themselves.
Home Care: If your loved one isn’t ready for independent living, home care allows them to get help while staying at home. It works for people who need help with small tasks like cooking or cleaning. Home care can be a round the clock or for a few hours a day, depending on individual needs.
Assisted Living: If your loved one has some medical concerns or needs help with more than basic tasks, assisted living is a great option. Residents still have their own space but have access to nurses and staff who can administer medication, prepare meals, clean, arrange activities, etc.
Residential Care: This is a good transition between home care and facilities like nursing homes. In residential care, patients live in a group, often within the caretaker’s actual home. It’s an excellent option for people who need nursing care but don’t have major behavioral or health problems.
Nursing Homes: If your loved one requires near-constant care or has a debilitating disease or behavioral problem, a nursing home may be best for them. These facilities have nurses and specialized medical professionals who provide excellent care and handle emergency situations.
In addition to your loved one’s needs, the facility you choose may depend on your financial situation and the location of the facility.
Step Two: How to Find a Facility
There are also a variety of online resources designed to help find the right nursing facility for your family, including:
Your loved one’s doctor may also be able to recommend some local facilities that would be best suited to help your elderly family member.
Step Three: Touring Facilities
Once you know which kind of facility is right for your family member, set up appointments to tour several of them.
Like shopping for a house or buying a car, it can be hard to know whether you’re making the right choice. To make things easier, take notes as you visit each facility. Pay special attention to the following:
Rooms: A good room will be comfortable and with easy to use furniture. It should be painted and feature some decorations. Natural light is a must. It would be better if the room had an outside view. Good care facilities will limit their rooms to private or semi-private so residents aren’t overcrowded.
Residents: Pay close attention to the facility’s residents. Look for signs they’re happy and healthy. If you can, talk to a few who have been there a while. Ask them what they do and don’t like about living there.
Staff: Staff should appear cheerful, attentive, and friendly. Rude or unhappy staff can be an indicator they don’t like their jobs, and that can lead to nursing home abuse and neglect.
Building: The interior and exterior of the building should be in good shape. It should also have wheelchair ramps, paved parking, landscaping, and a place for emergency vehicles to easily pick up patients.
Keeping these four points in mind can help you differentiate each facility you visit and make choosing one easier.
Step Four: Asking the Right Questions
As you’re touring, don’t be afraid to ask questions that pertain to your loved one’s medical needs. These questions may help you decide whether the facility will work for your relative:
- Is the facility easy for people to come visit?
- How far is it from your family member’s doctor?
- Is it located in a quiet area?
- What is the facility’s housing capacity?
- When are visiting hours?
- Can residents go outside on their own?
- What kind of security measures does the facility take?
- What kind of transportation services do they offer?
- Does the facility provide planned outings or activities for residents?
- What is the facility’s Emergency Action Plan (EAP)?
- Are they certified by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare?
Contact A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing homes are meant to keep your family member safe and healthy. Unfortunately, they don’t always uphold their responsibilities. There are unaccredited nursing facilities who hire poorly trained staff that abuse their patients. Even accredited facilities can make the mistake of hiring an abusive nurse of staff member.
Nursing home abuse can cause serious problems in people who are already suffering from disease or old age. If you suspect your loved one is being mistreated, do not hesitate to contact a nursing home abuse attorney. We have experience dealing with negligent care facilities and will fight for your loved one’s rights. Contact Hagelgans & Veronis to schedule your free consultation today at (717) 295-7009.