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Making the decision to place an elderly relative in a nursing home is not something you do without a lot of thought. Most times, it's because they are unable to care for themselves and you're unable to provide the type of assistance they need. Searching for an appropriate nursing home takes a considerable amount of research and it's a not a decision you should take lightly. There are a number of factors to keep in mind in order to find the ideal facility.
Thoroughly Vet Each Facility
While the purpose of every nursing home is the same, the amenities and level of care tend to differ widely among those even in the same area. It's important to research each facility you're considering prior to placing your elderly relative in one. A simple Google search can yield reviews that fill in details that you won't see when you're in the facility. Speak with others who have family members or friends at the home to gauge their experience.
Ask to take a tour of the nursing home. Pay close attention to the level of cleanliness and the demeanor of patients. If the facility is dirty when you're there, it's likely dirty all of the time. If the patients are unhappy or not attended to, this is unlikely to change in the near future. Other things to keep a lookout for include the level of care the staff affords the patients, how they treat them, and how they act in general at the facility.
Be on the Lookout for Claims of Elderly Abuse
Elderly abuse is a sickening, yet very real occurrence across the country. It happens to more than 2 million elders each year. Because they're often in a vulnerable state, it's easy for abuse to occur and even go unnoticed. It happens more often than anyone cares to admit. The signs aren't always visible, so it's important to pay close attention to the patient's demeanor. Physical abuse is sure to leave marks, but verbal abuse doesn't, so it often goes undetected and patients continue to suffer. Their outward demeanor is often a strong clue, especially if they appear more withdrawn or agitated than normal. If you suspect that something's not right, or have physical proof, consult an elderly abuse attorney who can help you get the legal help you need.
Find a Home that Suits their Needs
While cost is a strong factor in choosing a nursing home, you should also look for one that offers the best combination of affordability and amenities. For example, some nursing homes cater to those who are more active by offering social events on the grounds. Others offer more hands-on care for patients who need it most, particularly when it comes to mobility issues. Consider your loved one's needs in order to ensure their happiness.
There's no denying that searching for a nursing home can prove to be a challenge, especially with so many options. While you may not know where to start in your search, be diligent about making the best medical decisions by vetting the facilities and making sure they're equipped to handle the level of care your loved one needs.