Try Out Recreational Activities in Nursing Homes
Like enrolling in a college program, choosing a nursing home is a decision that will likely cost a lot of money and determine the environment in which your loved one spends the majority of his time. So it’s important to take the time for a comprehensive visit to the skilled nursing, rehabilitation or intermediate care facility you’re considering.
At your visit, notice the countenance on the residents’ faces and the general feel of the place. Is it clean and well-maintained? Are staff members involved and friendly? Do they address residents by name? Do residents and visitors seem to enjoy the meals? Stay for a meal if at all possible so you can experience it yourself.
Take particular notice of the recreational activities in nursing homes you visit. You aren’t necessarily looking for the facility with the largest social calendar. Instead, you’re looking to match your loved one’s interests with a facility’s offerings. Does your loved one enjoy the therapy pool? If so, make sure you find a facility with a warm, accessible pool that’s supervised at convenient hours. Is your loved one a bingo player or a card shark? Inquire about organized games and clubs. When choosing a nursing home for your loved one, it’s important to meet her social needs as well as her physical needs. Asking about and even sitting in on recreational activities in nursing homes will help you.
Check Out Skilled Nursing, Rehabilitation & Nursing Facility Reputations
Getting to the bottom of reputation is fundamental when choosing a nursing home. There is a fairly straight forward way to check up on the reputation of the skilled nursing, rehabilitation or intermediate care facility you’re interested in. Following the steps below will help you see what others are saying about the facility and educate yourself about its regulatory inspections.
- Look for a prominently displayed state nursing home license.
- Notice posters or bulletin boards with residents' rights information from your state’s long-term care ombudsman's office.
- Contact your state’s long-term care ombudsman personally to inquire about resident or family complaints. Go to www.LTCOmbudsman.org for contact information.
- Visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website, Nursing Home Compare. It gives you quality ratings and inspection information for all registered skilled nursing, rehabilitation and assisted living programs.
- Think like a detective and try other methods of getting potential dirt on a facility. "Google" the facility name, ask a physician, talk to friends and family members, and don’t be shy about talking candidly to visitors when you visit.
Involve Your Loved One in the Process
As long as your loved one is cognitively aware enough to contribute to the decision, involve him is much as possible when choosing a nursing home. It can be tempting to do all the research on your own and announce the decision at your next visit, but that kind of management can create conflict and turn him off to the idea. When you involve your loved one by discussing options with him, taking him with you on visits and taking his concerns seriously, you will limit disagreement and make the process more enjoyable for everyone. If he resists the idea altogether, let him retain as much control as possible by giving him options within a framework that works for the entire family.
Choosing a Nursing Home Today
If you don’t even know where to begin in your search, you can start by deciding what level of senior care your loved one needs. Then fill out the search form at the top right of any page on this website to browse hundreds of senior care facilities in your area. If you would like to speak with someone directly, simply call the toll-free number listed at the top of this page and one of our expert long-term care managers will walk you through the process free of charge.
Nursing Homes: Family Resources
- Nursing Home Care - Family Guide
- When To Talk About Nursing Homes
- When To Start Searching For Nursing Homes
- Finding Affordable Nursing Homes
- Choosing a Nursing Home
- Nursing Home Research Guide
- Finding a Nursing Home for a Couple
- Nursing Home Lists and Personalized Assistance