Are you searching for a nursing home that can accommodate the mental and physical needs of an elderly loved one? If so, knowing how to begin your search is key to finding the right nursing home. Without any prior experience, getting off the ground running can feel next to impossible, however. To assist you on your journey, here are eight questions you can ask your loved one, which will help you find the right home for them in the long run:
1. What are your biggest concerns?
Before you ask any other question, this one will demonstrate that you’re ready to hear all of the concerns and questions that your elderly loved one may have about their transition into a nursing home. Be sure to write down all of the concerns they communicate with you, and ask for further details about them. Doing so can help ensure that you address every one of their concerns to the best of your ability.
2. What do you want to take with you?
When your loved one is preparing to move into their new home, they will want to take items, keepsakes, and other objects that are valuable to them. By asking them ahead of time about their most-desired items, you can make a list that will ensure you do not leave any item behind. This will also allow you to vet any possible items that may not be allowed into the nursing home as well.
3. Are you concerned about making friends?
The social pressures and fears that go along with moving into a new place, especially a nursing home, can be overwhelming. By reaching out to your loved one about their social fears and concerns, you can help prepare them for the transition ahead of them more effectively. Just be sure to listen to their needs closely, as this can be a particularly emotional territory.
4. What dietary needs do you want to be met?
Especially when you’re older, having the right food is critical to your mental and physical well-being. Even if you think you may know all there is to know about your loved one’s dietary needs, you may be unaware of their full extent. Make a list of their needs, and make sure a nursing home can meet them before making any final choices.
5. What can we purchase to make the transition easier?
Buying everything your loved one needs for their new home is critical to making them feel comfortable, safe, and appreciated. Especially since your loved one may be struggling financially during the early stages of this transition, it can be useful to pay for their needed materials out of your own pocket if possible.
6. What type of tours would you like to do for any facility we’re considering?
Moving a loved one into a nursing home blind is always a bad idea. Ask your loved one what type of tours they want to go on within any potential home, and they will end up feeling much more comfortable about the transition ahead of them. Just make sure that their tour needs/desires are possible before telling them that you can make them happen. If they can meet the staff and nursing home director ahead of time, they will feel extra comfortable with their new home. Knowing that the staff has your loved one’s needs in mind is invaluable.
7. Have you ever known anyone that’s been in a nursing home?
Sometimes the biggest fears or concerns elderly people have about nursing homes arise due to experiences they’ve heard about their friends or loved ones having at nursing homes in the past. Be sure to talk about these preconceived notions your loved one may have about nursing homes so that you can address any of their questions, fears, or concerns in as effective a manner as possible.
8. What type of community events would you prefer?
One of the most useful tools nursing homes provide for new residents is community events. These events allow nursing home residents to mingle, make new friends, and embrace a sense of newfound community. Ask your loved one about the types of community events that would make them feel comfortable and appreciated, and you can more effectively find the right home for their emotional and personal needs.
The Perfect Nursing Home Awaits
After asking these eight questions, you will have a much easier time locating a nursing home that’s right for your loved one. The transition into their new home will always have some hiccups, but with enough pre-planning and vigilance, you can make their journey as comfortable as possible.
It is extremely important to stay in constant contact when they are in the nursing home. In-person visits can drastically decrease the likelihood that they will suffer elder abuse.