Finding Value in an Nursing Home
With so many choices available in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and long term care, identifying the best value can be a real challenge to the average consumer. Nearly all communities for elderly care are appealing to some degree. All assisted living communities offer house-keeping, meals and social functions. However, the attitude of a community can mean the difference between simple care and a complete, proactive environment for the resident.
The most desirable assisted living communities do so much more than just housekeeping, meal preparation, and bathing assistance. Making the best choice with regards to value requires that you engage in additional research. If you are interested in learning more about the differences between assisted living facilities, retirement communities and nursing homes, you can find out more information by browsing Amy's Nursing Homes.
Some questions to ask when reviewing assisted living facilities are:
Does the community foster independence or dependence?
Demand explicit answers that involve training the resident in the use of assistive devices and how to manage pain and chronic conditions. Make sure that you hear indications that the philosophy of the senior care center is that the residents should be enabled to remain in control of their own lives. Steer clear of any elder care center that seems to treat the residents like incompetent children.
How much training do they provide to their caregiving staff?
How much do caregivers seem to be aware of symptoms of change, and about the mindset of building a sense of community and how effective are their communications skills? Caregivers should go through rigorous training at the beginning of their employment, and they should have subsequent on-going training regarding a wide range of topics pertaining to elder care.
How do the residents feel about living at the community?
Consider it a good sign if you are permitted to talk with any residents you come across during your tour of the community. Ask the residents about how long they have resided at the facility and what they like or dislike about living there. Does the person giving the tour speak to the residents? Do they know the residents names? Scrutinize the interactions between residents and staff; this will give you a good indication of the level of personal care and respect the residents receive.
Does the staff keep track of the residents’ health and welfare, both physical and psychological?
Don’t be afraid to ask how. The best centers have a case management system that begins with an exhaustive baseline assessment when the resident moves in, and an individual care plan for the treatment of chronic conditions and building the residents’ strength. Ideally, residents are reassessed often and their individual routines are adjusted accordingly.
Does the center look like a nursing facility or a hospital?
Are there medical carts left in the hallways, and obvious nurses’ stations? Do the employees wear white uniforms? Healthcare should be present and attentive, but nearly invisible. This makes the residents feel more like they are home instead of in a hospital.
What is the employee turnover rate?
It is important that residents can anticipate someone familiar giving them long term care. Understandably, a center where employees like their work offers a better emotional atmosphere for residents as well. Make sure to evaluate the staff, and talk with them directly during your tour. They should be openly responsive to your questions.
Determining which of the assisted living facilities has the greatest value proposition from a large number of prospective communities necessitates that the smart consumer rely on diligent and perceptive research as well as intuition. These questions will help you focus on the core values of any assisted living center. See beyond the attractive facade to find the facility which most closely resembles your perspective of the highest level of care and service for your loved one.