Besides the logistical considerations such as pricing, location, and availability, we want the best for our loved ones, want them to feel comfortable, and want them to have access to a variety of different events, activities, and stimuli that will encourage a higher level of cognitive, emotional, and physical states of being. There are many components that may benefit a nursing home’s residents, and just as all people are different, every home and environment is different. Here are many questions to consider while searching for the nursing home that best fits your needs; we have condensed them for you.
1. What is your first impression upon visiting?
As with many experiences, first impressions are important and often trigger instinctive reactions in terms of how we feel. Notice whether or not you are comfortable in different areas of the nursing home, such as the lobby, the halls, the dining room, and any other types of activity rooms. Notice how you feel interacting with the staff – are they friendly? Do they smile? Do they interact with the residents and seem to enjoy their jobs? Pay attention to your sensory input as well, such as whether or not the nursing home smells appealing, whether there is any access to music, how often staff and residents converse, and what types of visual aesthetics are present. All of these components, when addressed effectively by the nursing home, pull together to create a homey, comfortable feel and most importantly, a sense of community as opposed to isolation. Main Takeaway: the organization, cleanliness, friendliness of the facility will have a direct impact on the care and concern for your loved one and your overall feeling after your loved one is living there.
2. What is the nursing home’s philosophy?
A nursing home’s approach to how they treat their residents can highly influence one’s decision on whether or not that site is the right fit. A nursing home’s philosophical approach to care can differ depending on where you go, and they may favor one approach over another, or combine them to provide an eclectic scope of care. Ask about whether a site provides more medically-centered care or resident-centered care. A medically driven approach places priority on objective goals, medical processes, and physical requirements, while resident-centered care focuses on emotional and social well-being, such as choice-making, comfort level, and dialogue. Some people prefer a medical-centered approach, while some prefer a more resident-centered approach. Many nursing homes also find ways to effectively combine the two approaches, and it’s important to consider what types of doctors are on call, what types of therapists are available, and whether or not there is a team approach to resident care. Often the Mission Statement will tell you most of what you need to know, but do they actually carry that statement out? Note: It's important to remember that a Rehab or Skilled Nursing facility will mostly be centered around a medical-model while a Memory Care will be Resident-centered. Main Takeaway: Take your loved ones personality into consideration and choose a facility that most matches their regular everyday routine.
Written by Marce Muller
Edited by Laura Evans