As we grow old, we require more attention and care. One way to ensure that someone will take care of us when we are no longer able to do so is by choosing a nursing home for the future. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 16,600 nursing homes in the U.S. in 2016, and the number has increased since then. There is a great variety of nursing homes you can choose from, but the right one for you will depend on your specific needs and wishes.
Identify your priorities
Most nursing homes typically offer 24-hour supervision, medical care and assistance with everyday activities. However, these establishments vary in the additional services they provide to their clients. Some offer private rooms, various activities, religious or cultural support and specialized units for patients with dementia. Consider what your priorities are and keep them in mind while doing your research.
Explore your options
Once you know what you want from the nursing home, you can start looking at all the available options. You can look up nursing homes online, but it would also help if you ask family, neighbors or friends if they know about a good nursing home they recommend. You could also ask your doctor or your local senior and community activity center. You should keep your options open, and after you find some homes that you like, make a list and call them to ask about their waiting lists and prices.
Visit and ask questions
You should always visit the nursing homes that interest you before making a final decision. A visit will give you the chance to see the setting and quality of the facility. By visiting the nursing homes, you will be able to get information about:
- How the residents live
- The doctors and staff that will take care of you
- The kind of private rooms they offer when residents have visitors
- How clean it is
- The type of therapy available
- The type of meals they serve
- The rules they have for medications and going out
During your visit, ask the staff as many questions as you can. You may also ask to talk to a resident to hear their opinion on the nursing home’s care.
Making a good decision
After you visit the nursing homes on your list, think about the one where you felt the most comfortable. If unsure, you can ask someone you trust to go with you to the facilities on top of your list. That way, you can get another perspective on your choice and select the nursing home that will give you happiness and quality care in the future.