Taking care of elderly loved ones requires the best attention possible and sometimes their needs get to a level that requires advanced caregivers. As such, you may consider moving them into a care home. Finding the right care home can be daunting; however there are some key guidelines that you can follow to ensure that you find the best home for your loved one.
Consider the location of the care home. You will want to be able to visit your loved one as frequently as possible and this will be made easier if you can find a home that is close. Find out which ones are closest to you and research on the level of care they provide. Also, be sure to ask how frequently you can visit. Frequent visits will enable you to monitor your loved one’s progress. Also look out for locations that aren’t in the vicinity of noisy places such as pubs and highways where cars pass frequently at odd hours, thus disrupting peace and quiet.
Get good referrals
Visit local health organisations and centres which can refer you to approved care homes. Sticking to approved homes is best as most of them have certain certifications, are subject to inspections, and there are committees that handle any issues and complaints that may arise. You can also talk to your loved one’s doctor and get their professional opinion and recommendations. You can go a step further and talk to people who have loved ones in homes that you are interested in. Their input may also give you some valuable insight on the level of care provided.
After getting referrals, do your own research; don’t rely solely on opinions. Read recent inspection reports, usually available through the local health departments. Go through information sites to compare care standards and find out what certifications the homes have. Focus on reviews and comments on the sites and look out for recurrent complaints or issues.
Visit the homes
It is important to visit the care homes and check on the level of care for yourself. Look out for details like the ratio of staff to residents. Do the residents seem happy and relaxed? What seems to be the attitude and relationship between residents and staff? Do the rooms smell fresh? Do they maintain high standards of cleanliness? Stay for a meal and note the quality of the food and how the staff handle residents who have difficulty eating. Picking up on details like these will give you an idea of how well the home is run and if it is suitable for the loved one you intend to put in a care home.
When carrying out your reconnaissance visits, have a list of very specific questions about the care provided. Questions touching on medication, policies and special needs are key. Find out whether your loved one can keep their current doctor, what happens when they need special care, whether they cater for residents with special dietary needs, how the home handles emergency situations. Do they have an open-door policy or do they have set visiting hours? What kind of extracurricular activities do they offer? Ensure that you leave satisfied with the answers to all your questions.
This is probably the biggest factor after standard of care when considering care homes. You need to fully understand the home’s fee schedule and find out how the charges apply and what they cover. Also find out what charges apply for extras that may be required such as special dietary needs, amenities and even extra care. Don’t forget to find out the home’s policy regarding the increase of fees and how much notice they give about the same.
Throughout the process, ensure that your loved one is included in your decisions. Remember that he or she is the one who will live in the home you have selected so their input on the matter is also important. You can even visit the home together if they are up for it and discuss the options together. This will ensure that you get a care home that your loved one will also approve of.
Author C McDonald. I am a keen blogger and this subject is close to my heart. Caring for the elderly is a minefield of confusing informartion and I am trying to simplify some of this. With thanks to www.collinscare.co.uk for their help and advice.
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