Choosing a Good Nursing Facility: 5 Things to Consider
With over 15,000 nursing homes across the United States, choosing the best nursing facility for your loved ones can be a struggle. According to the CDC, around 1.7 million people stay in one of these nursing homes each year, making your selection even more crucial.
You want to ensure that you or your loved ones still feel safe and comfortable in their temporary home away from home. Are they living in a safe and healthy environment? Do they receive proper care and support to help them recover fast? What kind of foods do they eat? What of the physical and wellness activities offered? Is there Medicare for seniors?
Choosing a good nursing facility is the gateway to quality care and fast recovery. The process may be tedious, but with these 5 easy steps, you can quickly tell a good rehab hospital from a bad one before enrolling.
Points to Consider When Choosing a Good Nursing Facility
Whether searching for a nursing home for you or your loved ones, these 5 key points will help you make the best decision possible.
How Can I Tell If It’s a Good Nursing Facility?
Skilled nursing facilities provide care for people discharged from the hospital but cannot take care of themselves at home yet. A great rehab hospital will speed up recovery and even enable you or your loved one to return home sooner than anticipated.
But how can you tell if it’s a good nursing facility?
● Location: The nursing facility should be close to your home. The closer it is, the easier it is to get visits from friends and family.
● Attractive food: A rehab hospital should serve a balanced, well-cooked diet, special meals for those with diet and health problems, and have a skilled nursing staff that monitors the residents’ nutritional intake.
● Safety: A good nursing facility is well maintained, right from the building to the facilities and furnishing. There should also be fire extinguishers and exit doors in case of emergencies.
● Sufficient staff: Every good rehab hospital should have adequate staff and different professionals such as physicians, physical therapists, and family counselors, among others. Skill nursing is a crucial part of a nursing facility; thus, every nursing home should have enough registered nurses and nursing assistants.
● Friendly Atmosphere: A good nursing facility should have a welcoming environment where everyone feels safe and free. This begins from the design of the buildings, shared spaces, rehabilitation units and goes all the way to the sub-acute rooms designated for short-term rehab stays. All the facility managers and staff should also be welcoming.
● Flexible visitation: Most nursing homes understandably tightened their visitations due to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, a good nursing facility will still find ways to allow interactions, even if it’s through window visits or video calls.
What Should I Bring to the First Appointment?
During your visit to the nursing home, make plans to talk with both the facility director and the nursing director to gather more information about the rehab hospital.
On your first appointment, make sure you have:
● An order from the physician requesting admission at a nursing facility
● Medical history and physical examination of the person seeking admission
● A state-required form that shows that the patient meets all the requirements for nursing facility admission
● Healthcare tests
● An order from the physician requesting medications and treatment of the patient
What Should I Look For on the Tour?
Before visiting a rehab hospital, write down all your specific needs and keep them in mind during your visit. The Medicare Nursing Home Checklist has some great ideas to consider when writing your list.
Be as observant during your tour and note every tiny but necessary detail. Here are some of the things to look for:
● The staff’s interaction with the residents: For example, do they yell at those with hearing problems?
● The hygienic state of the facility: Does it smell of disinfectants or urine? Bad odors indicate that sheets and clothing are not changed frequently.
● Observe the residents: Do they have untreated bedsores? Are they well-groomed? Do they have jewelry on?
● The facility’s atmosphere: Is the feeling homey?
● Observe the surrounding environment: Can you see plants, lamps, or paintings that add a homey atmosphere?
● Check lounges: Do they feel comfortable?
● Activities and entertainment: Are they offered? If yes, which ones? Are they easy to read (activities displayed on posters, if any)
● Rooms: Are they clearly marked? Is there important information displayed on them?
What Questions Should I Ask?
Do not be afraid to ask questions during your visit. Below are questions that should help you choose a good nursing facility.
1. Is the facility certified by Medicaid and Medicare? For how long has it been certified?
2. Does the nursing home have a Dementia unit or any other special care area designed for people with special needs?
3. What are the facility’s visiting hours?
4. How are residents with medical issues, e.g., a broken hip, handled?
5. Is the rehab hospital well lit, secure, clean, and with a friendly atmosphere?
6. What is the ratio of the staff to residents per shift?
7. Is there a library for those with audiobooks and large print?
8. Is there a safe space where residents can enjoy the outdoors, such as an enclosed garden?
9. Do the residents share a room or bathroom with one or more residents?
10. Are meals served together in one dining hall, or do the residents get their meals from their rooms?
11. Are there non-emergency medical services provided, such as dialysis? If not, how is the transportation arranged?
Where Should I Start?
Knowing where to start with your search for a suitable nursing facility may seem like a difficult task, but with proper help and research, you will find a good rehab hospital sooner than you think.
1. Start by seeking recommendations from the hospital staff. Due to their experience, they can help you find a nursing facility that provides care that suits your needs.
2. Know what you want. What can’t you compromise? Is it the nursing care, religion, meals, physical therapy, or a special care unit?
3. Talk to friends and family: Ask for suggestions from friends, social workers, doctors, family, pastors, etc.
4. Contact different nursing facilities: Get in touch with every facility on your list
5. Visit the facility
6. Ask questions during your visit
7. Visit the second time: On a different day of the week and without an appointment
8. Carefully go through your contract once you select a nursing facility before signing.
Contact StoneGate Senior Living Today
While selecting a good nursing facility can be a challenging process, these 5 tips will help ease your selection process and enable you to choose a facility that meets your needs.
Your care and those of your loved ones deserve great attention. At StoneGate Senior Living, we strive to offer the best care and living conditions any resident can get. Contact us today for our services or inquiries.