Find the Right Nursing Home for Your Loved Ones

Moving a loved one into a nursing home isn’t easy for anyone, and it is usually done only as a last resort. However, nursing homes are a good option for seniors who have physical and mental struggles that have a profound effect on their daily activities.

Nursing homes are good for seniors that struggle with Alzheimer's, dementia or other mental illnesses. Nursing homes provide seniors with constant care, rehabilitation or therapy, and are designed to feel like home living. The environment is regulated by the state with programs like Medicare and Medicaid that help with paying the necessary costs.

How Do I Know When a Nursing Home is Necessary?

Look out for the most common warning signs: rapid weight loss, unexplained injuries, forgetting to take medications, paranoia, accidents, or a sudden change in habits. One or more of these signs means you should take your loved one to a geriatrician for an official evaluation. If not, at least take them to their primary physician and get a professional opinion.

The most important element will be your loved one's degree of ability to conduct simple, daily activities such as sufficient upper-body strength to get out of a chair unassisted, adequate dexterity to bring fork to mouth, and enough range of motion to pull on pants or a sweater. Balance will be checked to assess the risk of falls. Memory deficits, signs of depression or anxiety, and indications of dementia and Alzheimer's will be evaluated. Simply identifying all the issues can take a big weight off your shoulders, eliminating the need for guesswork.

How Decide From the Many Nursing Homes Available?

Most cities in America will have over 20 nursing homes within a short-drive from your residence. When making an emotionally burdened decision the sheer amount of choices available can be overwhelming.

Though there are many factors to consider, such as quality of care, amenities, and cost, the most important thing is to choose a nursing home that you’ll be able to visit frequently. Pick one in close proximity to your home or workplace where you can visit your loved one frequently.

Studies have shown that the best prescription for fending off depression and feelings of isolation in nursing home residents is to make sure they frequently see the significant people in their lives. Not just their adult children, but also other relatives and friends dropping in for a meal or quick chat.

After making a short list of nursing homes in close proximity, look up their ratings with the federal government. Keep in mind that nursing homes with four or five stars will often have a waiting list due to limited availability, so put in a request as early as you can.