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  • Writer's pictureAleezeh Hasan

Choosing the right nursing home for a sick or elderly parent

While many are hesitant to put their parents or elderly loved ones in a home, for some it can be the best and safest decision. Although there have been cases where residents did not feel properly taken care of, there are ways to find a home that will serve your loved one in their best interest.

When you’re looking into homes, be sure to visit them ahead of time. Bring your parent with you and see if they like it as well. This process would likely take a while, so it might be best to make a day out of it, so you can really get to know the facility.

· Check the security level and accessibility. Will your parent be able to get around easily? If they use a wheelchair, can they navigate independently throughout the building? If they are forgetful, is the layout one with clear signs and markings? Consider what it may be like to get around with limited mobility and if that seems realistic. Also, check how the front entrance looks. Does the door lock to stop just anyone from coming in? For the most vulnerable people, it is important to have a sense of safety and security.

· Talk to the other residents. It is likely that the facility would have a common area for residents to do leisure activities in. If you see that there are plenty of activities to keep them busy, then this should be a good sign. If your parent has any specific hobbies, see if they could do them there. Some homes have schedules with planned events, such as movie screenings or social hours. Asking other residents whether the events are interesting can be a way to get an understanding of if they feel cared for.

· Look at the rooms. If you look at the rooms, you can get an idea of if it will be comfortable place for your parent to stay. See how the temperature inside of the room is, if there is an Air Conditioner or a heater. Look at the quality of the bathroom. Check the bed and see if it is comfortable. Many elderly people prefer a folding hospital bed, so that they can elevate their head or legs, check if they have beds that are fitting to your parent’s needs.

· Try the food. If your parent is planning on having all their meals at the facility, try out the cafeteria food during your visit. If your parent has dietary restrictions, see if they provide healthy and tasty options for them. It would be best to eat a meal during a peak dining time, so that you can see how the cafeteria functions. If your parent requires someone else to help them eat, then check on how available the nurses and workers are and if they are flexible with helping out whenever your loved one wants to eat.

· Look at it on a map. Nowadays, it is easy to look up your location on a map. Take the time to see if the home is near emergency facilities. See how many minutes away it is from the fire station, police station and hospital. Check how far it is from your own residence—and whether you can visit easily. Some people go through an adjustment period when they first move into a home, so being able to visit your parent frequently can be a great way for them to get used to the new situation. If your parent has a favorite food or might consistently need for you to bring them things, then make sure you can come to them often and easily.

Moving to a new place can present a challenge for anyone. Changing homes can be especially intimidating for an elderly loved one who needs special care. Taking the time to ask questions and scope out their potential new home is a great way to ensure that they will be in the best possible care.

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