Watching your loved ones get older is never easy, especially when they need living assistance. It may be worrisome to make the right choice in finding the best care and it may not help that there is a negative stigma of nursing home abuse associated with assisted living.
However, when the choice comes to enroll your loved one in a nursing home or assisted living, there are steps you can take and things you can consider to ensure they’re in safe hands.
Consider the Person’s Needs and Wants
Consider what your loved one’s needs are and how much assistance they’ll need per day or if they will require special care. According to the Paducah nursing home abuse lawyers at Bryant Law Center, there are several different types of senior housing options to choose from.
Independent Living Communities:
These communities are for those who don’t need day-to-day care but instead would prefer to live around those similar in age and lifestyle. It allows them to socialize and downsize while remaining independent.
This type of arrangement is for those who don’t have any medical issues but will need help in some activities of everyday living such as dressing or bathing. There will be emergency response teams and transportation services as well as housekeeping or cooking available. These are more restrictive than an independent living community, but allow more freedom than a nursing home would.
Skilled Nursing Facilities:
This care is designed for short-term stays, up to three months, for those recovering from an injury or illness. Most residents will stay from one to three months depending on their recovery. Some services provided can include therapy for physical, occupational, or speech-related problems.
This option is for those who need more intensive and 24-hour comprehensive care for elderly citizens. They can help with activities like feeding or being lifted out of bed. Staff will include trained medical professionals including a doctor and nurses. The high level of supervision increases safety.
Memory Care Homes:
This option is for those who have dementia or Alzheimer’s. The staff-to-resident ratio is usually lower here, so residents can receive more personalized care. The staff here will be specifically trained on how to handle all behaviors and needs associated with dementia. Security is normally increased to prevent any residents from wandering off.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC):
This type of care combines assisted living, independent living, and nursing home housing in a single location. This allows seniors to stay in the same general area and move to more assisted living if their condition declines.
Aging in Place or In-Home Senior Care:
This type of care would have a caregiver go to the senior citizens’ home to help with their daily tasks. It can be for a few hours or around the clock. Live-in caregivers are an option for those who need around-the-clock supervision.
Other Considerations For Each Living Option
Review Visitation Policies:
Ask each home for a copy of their current visitation policy and details on how it’s implemented. You want to ensure that residents aren’t isolated and that you and other family members will be able to visit the facility.
Look At Staffing:
Review how well-staffed the facility is and ask about the staff turnover rate. If there is an inadequate number of people staffed or overworked staff, this can, unfortunately, lead to neglect or abuse. You can also ask about the type of training staff members have to get a sense of how well staff will meet the needs of your loved one.
Find Out Costs and Contracts:
The cost for each type of care facility will differ. Some facilities may have a financial office that can help you determine if insurance such as Medicare, Medicaid, or other long-term care insurance will pay for the costs. It’s important to ensure the option chosen is something you can manage financially.
You can ask around in your community or from those you trust if they have good or bad experiences with any kind of living arrangement or what they recommend. You can also search for online ratings such as Yelp, Google, or other web-based reviews to help make your decision.
Each nursing home in every state is subject to an inspection once a year. You can ask the nursing home for their inspection reports or search online. Not only will this give you an idea of how the facility is run, but it will include detailed accounts of any health and safety violations found, penalties for said violations, and how the facility has resolved the violations.
Choosing the best living option for your loved one is not an easy choice and there are a lot of options to consider. The list above gives you a starting point on this decision journey. It is important to do as much research as you need to feel assured that your decision is the best one.