4 Tips for Finding Nursing Homes
Important Information for Your Nursing Home Search
Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, offer 24-hour supervised care and medical assistance with meals, activities, health management, and support for residents. Communities usually have a licensed physician or nurse on the premises and often have physical and occupational therapists to cater to their residents' needs.
Whether it’s a short rehabilitative stay or more permanent skilled nursing situation for your aging loved one, you’ll need to take the time to review the nursing homes in your area to find the best option.
As you start your search for a “nursing home near me,” keep these tips in mind:
1. Consider the cost.
Nursing homes can be expensive. The cost is dependent on whether your stay is short-term or long-term. A short-term stay is for those who have been hospitalized due to injury or illness and require supervised care while recovering. Fortunately, most short-term care is covered by Medicare. The cost for long-term care is affected by the size of the room—whether it’s private or semi-private—and the geographic location of the facility.
2. Do your research.
Choosing the right nursing home is important. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires each state to inspect any nursing home that gets money from the government. Homes that don't pass inspection are not certified. If the facility has received a citation in a particular service area, be sure to ask questions about this area. Beware of choosing a facility with a very high number of deficiencies compared to other facilities in the area and the state average.
3. Take a personal tour.
Touring skilled nursing homes in person is an essential part of finding the right care for your loved one. Make it a priority to see your top three picks in person. Late morning and mid-day hours are usually the best times to get a feeling for the day-to-day operations of a home. Make a second visit without calling ahead and try another day to meet different staff members. One of the most important things you can do is to talk to the residents and ask how they’re doing. Above all, trust your instincts; first impressions matter.
4. Understand the medical needs.
Each nursing home has different areas of expertise. Know the medical condition of your loved one well enough to understand if the services provided are a good fit. For example, some nursing home facilities are better at caring for people after a stroke while another excels in caring for people living with cancer or Alzheimer's. There are also cardiac rehab programs, wound care, and diabetes management programs available. Other nursing care homes cater to short-term rehabilitation. Knowing the medical conditions, gives you an advantage that speeds up recovery.
Finding the best nursing home can be a difficult process, but the more prepared you are, the better decision you'll make. Each nursing home has its own specialization and the type of care it’s known for. It’s important to make sure that its focus aligns with what your loved one needs.
Assisted Living Locators is your partner in finding the best nursing home for your senior. Click here to find a senior care advisor in your area today.