As the population continues to age, most of the people are faced with the panorama of moving an elderly family member into a convalescent or nursing home. It might be a decision that is reached suddenly after hospitalization or slowly as needs become more complicated to be met in other types of housing. Deciding to move to a nursing home can be stressful and most of the times due to the misunderstandings about these facilities. To make the right decision for a loved one, it is good to learn all that one can about nursing homes.
A nursing home or a skilled nursing facility is usually the highest level of care for elderly people outside a hospital. Nursing homes offer what is known as custodial care that includes getting in and out of bed, and offering help in bathing, dressing and feeding. Nevertheless, nursing homes are different, and they diverge from other senior housing facilities in that they offer high-level medical care. A physician who is licensed supervises the care of each patient and a nurse, or any other medical practitioner is almost always in the facility (Joanna, Doug, Russell & Monika, 2015). Care of skilled nurses is always available on the site for 24 hours a day. Other medical practitioners such as physical and occupational therapists are also available. This permits the delivery of medical therapies and procedures on the site that would not be possible in other housing. The name nursing home has a negative association for most of the people. However, these homes offer significant component of senior housing options.
Looking for the right nursing home is not simple, and you may be under anxiety to move rapidly due to a current hospitalization or worsening in a health situation. The more information one has, the greater the chances of getting the right fit for a loved one. Here are some of the things to consider when narrowing down your choices:
Begin with referrals. It is good first to consider any referrals or recommendations that the family specialist may have. One can also look to see if they have friends who have used some different homes. Knowing somebody with first-hand familiarity of a nursing home can assist in narrowing your choices. Nonetheless, it is good to remember that needs may differ. One size does not fit all.
Teach yourself. There are so many materials that are available that can be used to look at different nursing homes. Online materials for nursing homes consist of ranking sites that make use of obtainable state data to rate nursing homes. In the United States, every state has what is known as a long-term care ombudsman, which could be an important source about the present situation of nursing homes. Support groups can also give hints on looking for the right facility.
Consider the medical needs of the person involved. Diverse nursing homes might have more proficiency in different areas. It is good to consider a nursing home that will address the condition of the affected elderly well. This way you will able also to determine which one offers good short term rehabilitation if that is what you are looking for.
Factor in distance. In general, the most suitable the home, the easier it is for
Friends and family to visit.
The layout and ambiance vary from one nursing home to another. For instance, some rooms may be shared while others are private. Rooms can have their have bathroom, or bathrooms could be shared in the corridor. Some food may be served in the rooms while others might be in a central dining area. While nursing homes have conventionally been arranged in a medically oriented plan, with easiness of patient care being the main goal, some homes are now going to a newer plan models with smaller societies of 10 to 30 individuals within a home, private kitchens, common areas, and stability of staff (Joanna, Doug, Russell & Monika, 2015).
When looking for nursing home it is essential to consider a number of factors which include:
- Cleanliness. Does the institution appear clean? It is good to check whether you can smell any urine or any deodorizers that may be covering up the urine smell.
- Food. Look out for what kinds of foods are served in the facility. Examine whether the food is appetizing and nutritious. Check how they serve special diets for people with a special diet. It is also good to check the kind of help offered during meals especially so if you’re loved one needs help when feeding.
- Arrangement. Conventionally, nursing homes were being run like medical institutions, including a central nursing location with set meal times and medication. Some nursing homes, though, are now adopting different model, with lesser communities and common areas. If such a type is obtainable in your area, it might offer a more homely feel.
- Activities. Look out for the kind of quality life activities offered in the facility. Are out of the facility activities also available and are they health allowing.
- Experience with the condition of the one involved. If for instance a loved one has Alzheimer’s, disease, is there an exceptional care unit or expert staff and activities. Examine how the staff handles behavioral problems like wandering or agitation.
American health care association. (2015). Care advocacy: advocate for care. Retrieved from: http://www.ahcancal.org/Pages/Default.aspx
Joanna, A., Doug, Russell, W., & Monika, W. (2015). A Guide to Nursing Homes:
Skilled Nursing Facilities and Convalescent Homes. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/senior-housing/guide-to-nursing-homes.htm
Joseph, H., Xiaoqiang, W. & Nicholas, C. (2011). Potential underuse, overuse, and inappropriate use of antidepressants in older veteran nursing home residents. Journal of the American Geriatric Society.
Lapane, Carmel, H., Lori, D, & others. (2011). Effect of a pharmacist-led multi component intervention focusing on the medication monitoring phase to prevent potential adverse drug events in nursing homes. Journal of the American Geriatric Society.