Choosing a Quality Nursing Facility for your parents

Do you need an assisted living facility or a nursing facility? Your parents are generally in good health and independent, but you have noticed lately that sometimes they are missing appointments, having trouble keeping up with their day to day routine. They don’t need a nursing facility, but they need ‘assistance’. That is when you start looking for an assisted living facility.  How do you choose between them? You can’t just open up the yellow pages and select sight unseen. You need to go visit them, and here are a few things to look for:

Timing

Find out the activity schedule and plan your visit during these times. Also, plan to stay for lunch or dinner.   The interactions between staff during these two times are telling because this is when the staff has the most interaction. How are the residents are spoken to, directed and aided when needed?  Stay for a meal so you can see for yourself the quality of food.

Atmosphere

What does the atmosphere feel like when you first walk in the door? Does it feel welcoming? Your gut reaction should be first on your list. Make a note of it, and then reflect back on it after your tour. Look around, do the residents look happy? Do they look well cared for? Your instincts will tell you more than you think.

Maintenance

A key to knowing how your loved ones will be cared for is seeing how well the facility is cared for. Even though you are not looking at a full time care, nursing facility, you are looking for a home for your parents. How well the facility is maintained and kept clean will reflect on how well their care for the residents will be.  Look at the baseboards, ceiling fans, areas that can easily be missed without attention to detail.

Outdoor Space

What kind of outdoor space do they have for the residents?   These are independent seniors who just need a little bit of help sometimes.   What kind of sitting is provided is the area secure and well maintained? What kind of shading is there and other plantings? Is the space welcoming?

Personalized Care

Your parents may have specific help with personal care. How do the facilities handle bathing and grooming? Also, do you need attention to medical needs?  Remember, that an assisted living facility is not a nursing facility, and do not provide 24 hour medical attention.

Remember these tips for looking for an assisted living facility for your loved ones. Even though it is not a nursing facility you are looking for, you want a place where your parents will feel at home, and feel safe and cared for. Ask questions, if you see something out of line, or feel something is just not right, trust your instincts.   And, if the care your parents need is more than general assistance, or if they have more specific medical attention, you may be considering a nursing facility instead.

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