According to a recent report, about 1.3 million elderly Americans live in nursing homes. The number one reason these residents require full-time care is that they have chronic health conditions that cannot be managed at home. The medical treatment they receive at these long-term care facilities helps lower their risk of premature death. |
Finding A Home
When searching for a facility for an elderly parent or loved one, answering a few simple questions should help you shorten your list of nursing homes to visit. Here are four common ones you should always answer in advance.
Is It Too Far Away?
If you intend on seeing your elderly parent more than once a month, you don't want to spend more time driving than the visit will last. While there is no set amount of time, driving more than one hour may be too much for the average family to handle on a weekly basis. As such, we strongly suggest limiting your search to homes that are within easy driving distance.
It is also important to consider how distance might affect you and your family member in the event of an emergency. Should your loved need you by his or her side as soon as possible, you don't want to have to make a long, hurried drive in a fragile emotional state.
What Do The Surveys Say?
Most nursing homes are required by law to undergo annual inspections from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The findings of these inspections are a matter of public record. Where can you find them? Survey data, reports, and ratings should be posted at the care facility. If you do not see it, simply ask. (A home that cannot provide a report probably isn't worth considering.) What to look for?
Reports about mistreatment and actual harm are the most pressing issues you should consider. It is also important to take a look at the ratings of the actual facility. Perhaps it has outdated medical or HVAC equipment that makes providing first-rate care difficult. If so, the home may have received a lower-than-average rating for specific deficiencies.
What Is The Staffing Ratio?
Because the level of care your elderly loved one receives is often related to how many patients there are for every employee, it is imperative that you ask about the staffing ratio. This is particularly true when it comes to a specialized facility that caters to folks with dementia. Because diseases like Alzheimer's require a much higher level of individual attention, lower staff ratios are essential.
How Many Nurses And Doctors?
Although aides and orderlies are invaluable employees at nursing homes, if your loved one has a serious health condition, you want to know that a medical professional will be there to attend to their needs. At the very least, the facility should have a doctor or nurse on staff at all times.
You can find the answers to most of the questions we have asked today without actually visiting prospective nursing homes. Most reputable facilities have a website that addresses common queries. You can also call or email the provider directly with any question you might have.
When searching for nursing homes, Sterling Heights, MI residents visit Oakmont Communities. Learn more at http://sterling.oakmontcommunities.com/.
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