If you’re making the decision to find a nursing home for a loved one it can give you peace of mind to follow a strict, thorough due diligence campaign. Before you begin your search sit down with your parent or friend. What do they most want in a home? Although you make the final decision getting their feedback helps both of you to find the right match. By keeping their happiness in mind you’ll clear your conscience and feel better about the sometimes unpleasant decision you need to make.
Do a Spot Check
Research potential nursing homes through thorough visits. Walk the hallways and spend time in resident rooms. Chill for an hour or 2 in the meeting area. What vibe do you feel? Would you want to spend your golden years living in such home? The place should feel less like a facility and more like a loving, embracing home. If you feel like you’re part of a community you’re well on your way to finding the best nursing home for your loved one.
Don’t rush through this research. Pay attention to tiny details, from the smells, to the sights, to the sounds, inside of the home. Patiently observe how a normal day progresses. Do senior citizens have access to daily activities? Is the staff kind, friendly, professional and engaging? Not the cleanliness – or lack thereof – in rooms. Look for signs of a neat, clean environment. Spills and other accidents should be cleaned up quickly. Outside of the occasional loud noise from someone suffering through dementia you want to hear the sound of a happy, peaceful space.
Speak to Management
During your visit spend time speaking to staff and management. Ask about the long term vision of the facility. Inquire into the amount of staff and their shift work to see if you have a match. Even the most kind, pleasant individual will tend to turn into a stressed, unhappy person if overworked. Staff should receive ample rest time between shifts to create the best experience for residents.
If management answers to your liking keep the nursing home on your watch list.
One Isn’t Enough
Even if you feel clear on picking a nursing home visit 3 to 4 homes at least to get a feel for what’s out there. Nobody can engage in an effective due diligence campaign unless they establish some contrast between different homes. Do your homework thoroughly. Chat with facility workers. Tour each nursing home to compare and contrast your experiences. Gain a sense of contrast. After visiting a few homes you can better understand what you want for your loved one. Seeing different environments sparks your imagination and gives you what you need to know to make a confident, informed choice. Build a watch list of potential matches. Work your way through the list to find a good match.
Speak to Referrals
Friends, family and co-workers likely have experience with nursing homes in your area. Contact your referral network for potential homes. You’re likely to trust a friend or loved one who offers their suggestions.