Nursing Home for a Loved One: Here’s What to Look For

Looking for the right nursing home for our loved ones might be a difficult decision. We need to consider specific values that match our standards. We need to make them feel loved even if they are apart from us. As elderly people age, it can be challenging to do their everyday tasks like cooking meals, bathe themselves, or do their usual hobbies. Aside from that, seniors are also prone or at risk for illnesses as their immune system weakens. Their inability to do the following things makes them hard to leave on their own. While some families chose to take care of their elder loved ones, some hire a caregiver, and some send them into nursing care.

In the western country, seniors often go to nursing homes. Their family thinks that it is a practical thing to do because they are complete with care and medical facilities. But how do senior citizens feel about nursing homes? Deprivation, abandonment, and feeling of being unloved are awful things that they think when it comes to this matter. They are not comfortable with being taken care of by unfamiliar people, so even we are sending them to a nursing home. It is our responsibility to look for a place where they don’t feel left alone or uncomfortable.

To help you choose the right nursing home to take care of your elderly loved one, you might consider these factors:

Site and Size

When looking for a nursing facility’s location, keep it close to your home as much as possible. That is the first and foremost thing to consider. It will ease your loved one’s mind if they know that their family is a minute away from them and that you can easily visit them whenever you want to. A thirty-minute to one hour drive won’t hurt. However, you may also think of possibilities that may hinder your visit. So it is better if you have another relative that lives nearby to fill in your visit. Remember that frequent visits from loved ones portray a big part in the mental and physical stability of the patient, it can also ensure that the staff gives them the best care possible.

You should also look out for the size, either internal or external. Does the nursing home have ample area to cater to a certain amount of people? The rooms for accommodation must be comfortable enough for occupants. There must be no overcrowding to avoid more complications. In addition to that, their supplies like food, medicine, and others should be given relatively.

Services Offered

It is best to know what kind of services the nursing homes are offering. Even though they all compromise long term care, different nursing homes provide various health-care services treatment, so finding out which ones are being provided by the homes you are considering is crucial. While other services are necessary to meet the resident’s specific needs, others are equally important as improving their quality of life.

For you to check their services carefully, you need to visit the facility frequently. You can ask questions from the administrations, but it is different if you observe it in your own eyes. Look out for activities that they conduct to entertain and also enhance the abilities of the elders. The best nursing home allows their resident to play an essential role in selecting and planning these activities. There should also be special health-care services available for different patient needs. For example, if the person seeking treatment has dementia, you can pick a facility or are with a specialized unit to treat and take care of dementia patients. Having a rehabilitation unit at the site would be helpful if they need rehabilitation.

Staffing and Relations

As discussed above, the size of the population inside the facilities is also a big deal. You should check if the number of staff suffices the number of residents. It should not out-patient the occupants of the nursing home. Being short-staffed might bring complications to the whole organization. For example, when there are many handicapped elderly to feed and the caregivers are only a few. The result will be, feeding the others will be late for its designated time. It may also cause them to out-focus and neglect others, which are very unfortunate and bothering relatives.

Another thing to consider is the relation of staff to the residents. The staff members inside the nursing home are the one that ensures their safety and conditions; therefore, their expertise, attitude, and professionalism matter the most. You should not be afraid to ask plenty of questions and also take the time to observe the staff before making a decision. Caregivers should treat older people nicely. As much as possible, every worker inside the facility should engage in a happy disposition. It brings out positivity to all. It will help the seniors be comfortable and enjoy their stay inside the nursing home.

Red Flags

Not only in a relationship, but you should also find red flags when looking for a nursing home to send your elderly. Red flags are supposed to be used as a warning for danger. The first thing to do is to search for the background. There are broad search engines that can make you quickly find the details of your chosen home for the aged. Look if it has an incompetent administration. A severe violation history is also a no, no. It is noteworthy to understand that even if it has minor flaws, having severe violations makes a difference. It might become a dangerous situation. Look also if it has abusive treatments. If you are not familiar with these violations, you can seek assistance from a nursing home attorney to widen your knowledge of these matters and discuss what action is needed to do it.

A poor review from other patients is a big deal too. If the administration permits, don’t be shy to ask other residents if the staff are treating them nicely and fairly. Don’t be afraid to look for some flaws so that you know the red flags that will make you stop choosing that nursing home. After all, we all want what is best to take excellent care of our precious loved one.

Complete Facilities

One of the foundations of being an excellent nursing home is having the best facility. It should be complete and able to provide the residents a suitable accommodation and make them available for their needs. What if your loved one loves to hang out in the field? Or fond of swimming pools. Or like to play sports? They should have those kinds of utilities to gratify what the elders need. Also, focus on the rooms that they will sleep in. If space is enough to get a comfortable sleep. How about their common area, is it not too packed? Think of those little details because it matters once you or your loved one experienced it.

Besides entertainment facilities, also check if it provides medical facilities for elders seeking medical attention. It should be well furnished and ready to use for emergency purposes. The last thing to look upon the facilities is its cleanliness. Not all facilities with complete equipment and all are considered as the best. Sanitation is also a must. We don’t want to pick a messy and stinky nursing home? Do we? So better check if there are janitors to clean the place. It should be hygienic, most notably their cafeteria where everyone eats their food because older people tend to become weak from germs so they should be careful.

Financial Matters

It is also essential to consider what plan you are taking for financial matters. Medicare and Medicaid are the most accessible health insurance in the United States and paid by taxpayers. This program provides benefits to seniors and persons with disabilities. It is one of the common ways to pay for nursing care if you don’t have enough money. You can find a nursing home with this kind of certification to cater to you with this kind of benefit. On the other hand, if you chose not to use the said program, the elderly’s children are responsible for paying the fees.

When paying nursing home fees, you should look and check if it is worth the price. Ask for a breakdown of costs. There are four main types of expenses to pay inside a nursing home to give you an idea. It is the; a basic daily fee that covers meals, laundry, cleaning, and utilities. Accommodation Cost that charges you for the room you got and other facilities used. Means-tested care fees that cater your day to day personal needs. Last is a price for additional services.

Medication Needs

Another reason for sending a senior to nursing facilities is because they seek medication needs. Some are mentally ill, and some have physical sickness, either of the two, if you have an elderly loved one that needs medical attention, this is one of the things that you need to look for. Here are some things to ask for about their medication needs;

  • Does have Medicare and Medicaid Certification
  • Have assistance program for handicapped and other PWDs
  • Have professional care and staff for medication needs
  • Don’t have a record of overmedicating patients
  • A physician assigned to the elderly is a must.

Those listed above are some of the examples of what you should look for. Nursing care should also cater to extensive care for the elderly. We know that as they age, they might experience typical illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, cataracts or mental illnesses like dementia, and many more. The nursing home should be ready and have a comprehensive medication program for those following sickness.

Freedom of Choices

Staying in a nursing facility might be scary as well. They often feel like they are deprived of anything that they want. Although some elderly cannot do many things as they used to, they may want something for their own as long as they are mentally stable. So the nursing home must have the ability to give the freedom for choosing what the resident wants. Every individual dislikes when other people control them consistently. How else for older adults who have enough stress from being away from their family and being taken care of by strangers. So let them choose what they want when it comes to the food, types of blankets that they will use, or the activities that they like to participate in. They also like to choose what tv shows they want to watch or what time they will go to bed and other choices that make them comfortable and happy enough to feel like regular residents in an ordinary place.

As we want them to depend on nurses and caregivers to provide their needs and pamper them, it is also essential to give them independence as it enhances their ability to think and do a task for themselves. Their freedom also helps them to enjoy and have a pleasant time in that place.

To sum it up, sending your elderly into a nursing home can be heartbreaking. The family members are the ones to look for a suitable Nursing Home with current availability for their relatives. Hence, they are the ones who will always worry if they are okay, if what they eat or what they do in each passing day. Having your loved one experience an uncomfortable situation (for some) may be a real bothering. So deciding the right place for them makes the worry and stress go away.

The nursing home provides 24/7 quality care among its residents. Furthermore, selecting the right nursing home is always challenging; these matters can help you avoid a terrible situation that some people experience. So you better plan for it carefully beforehand. After all, you or your loved one’s care is a significant matter that deserves attention and time. Do thorough research and follow these tips for you to find the perfect nursing home.


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Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
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