The decision to place a loved one into a nursing home can be very difficult for the family. There are times when we have no choice but to utilize these facilities for the care of our aging parent or grandparent. Before visiting the available nursing homes in your area, make a list of questions to ask the administrator and other faculty. This is an emotional time and you need to be prepared. A list will help clarify your priorities as well as help narrow down your choices.
The questions on your list should address a range of factors from basic daily routines to the qualifications of caregivers and medical staff. Rules about visitors, personal items, meals and clothing also should be included. Most nursing homes have routine outings appropriate for the level of mobility and other health issues of the patients. Make sure you understand the particulars of any outside activity.
Placing your parent or grandparent in a nursing home can be a devastating time for you and your family. Elderly relatives who are admitted to nursing homes are usually there for the remainder of their life. Choosing an appropriate facility is necessary to the overall well-being of your loved one and also to your peace of mind.
Your list of questions should always include financial considerations along with the health and well-being of your parent. Ask the nursing home about any state or federal benefits available to you as financial relief. For instance, the Veterans Administration will pay a portion of the monthly costs if the patient is a U.S. veteran. Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits should be discussed so there are no surprises for you after placement.
One of the main benefits of creating a list of nursing home questions is to cover all of the pertinent information so you can make an informed decision. With emotions likely to surface, a list will help you remember everything you wish to know prior to leaving the facility. Administrators also will appreciate your initial thoroughness rather than receiving several phone calls after your visit. Your list will evolve as you visit various nursing homes, so don't hesitate to edit your questions as you learn.
A good nursing home will take into consideration your parent's health and emotional well-being. Helping your parent live well for as long as possible is its goal and a comprehensive list of questions will help you make the right choice.
Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.