When It’s Time and What to Look For In a Nursing Home

Finding the right assisted living fauquier county va for your loved one can be a strenuous experience. At a certain point, there condition changes into one where you are no longer able to care for their needs. Admit that you need help and consider all of your options to ensure that your parent, grandparent, child, or spouse has all they need to live out the rest of their years comfortable and safe.

Those watched for 24 hours a day can no longer be cared for by their family.

Have someone care for them because of extenuating psych issues or being a fall risk. It’s important to know when it’s time to make this move.

Below are several reasons why it may be appropriate to take this critical step, so that you and them can have peace of mind.

The Opinion Of Their Doctor

Switching from assisted living or home care should never be done without medical professionals’ opinions, especially if the reason involves taking them out of assisted living. Continuing care is a smart move for your loved one. It gives you peace of mind while acknowledging that you can no longer be their primary caretaker. Start looking for the best assisted living facility in Burlington WI

For home care, a doctor may tell you that they feel like a convalescent home for your loved one may be enough to provide them with the care they need if they are still at home. When hiring a nursing assistant to come into the house, that doesn’t mean she can provide the best care for someone who is advancing into poor health. They may need a multidisciplinary team to ensure constant safety.

Your family physician will talk with both of you to see if there are any problems with the current care they have. An extensive physical exam will take place. The examination will allow them to understand their condition and any further health care they may need. A mental evaluation will also likely occur even if your loved one is not showing signs of developing a mental or cognitive disorder. For those who are, an extensive exam will inevitably take place.

Caretaker Burnout

Caretakers not medically trained will experience stress and hardship. Taking care of an elderly or disabled parent(s) is not easy. It may be difficult for you not to express this to your family member. In some situations, it’s good for the relationships you have between your spouse, parent, or loved one to place them in a nursing home.

Older adults have emotional needs just as much as we do. The hardship of being taken care of by a family member they can tell is stressed can make them feel like a burden. Feeling like a burden can lead to depression and anxiety that may be alleviated by a professionals’ care.

It can become hard to control emotional outbursts yourself if you have reached a point where you can no longer cope. Not being able to cope may make them feel as though they are not loved by you and will be better off if they aren’t around. It can cause suicidal thoughts or make them focus on their death. In many ways, loved ones become happier with professional care.

Home Safety

It can be difficult to acquire what you need to make sure your home has the level of safety it needs to make it comfortable and safe for an elderly or disabled person. A bathroom might not be available that’s large enough for a wheelchair or walker. It may be difficult for them to take a bath if there is a high fall risk in the shower, or no bars are available.

Older people who have developed a psych issue may decide to run away. They do not know better, and it’s difficult for you to ensure that they cannot leave the house with the locks available for residential homes. For those with dementia, a nursing home is best.

They have comfortable locked down units that ensure your prized one can safely stay. Those dealing with a severely mentally ill person often need these facilities as they are at high risk of running away as well.

A Mentally Ill Family Member: Is A Group Home A Better Option?

Putting someone who is severely mentally ill in a nursing home should be considered. With that, group homes have CNAs that will watch them for 24 hours a day. A critically mentally ill family member may require more mental health care from a multidisciplinary staff that makes it more appropriate than a mental health facility.

The best indicator that it is time to step up to a nursing home will be signs that they cannot adequately function in a group home anymore. Psych patients that become violent or suicidal may need a facility that can watch them more closely or give them a higher level of care when it comes to medication management.

Facilities that provide long-term care to mentally ill people are called residential mental health facilities. They are nursing homes that specialize in taking care of mentally ill people of every age. Some people only stay in them for a few months; however, there are situations where someone may need care in one for years or throughout their life.

Many may not like the idea of putting their loved ones in a group home. Typically, these patients can become lonely from inadequate attention. However, a lot of residential health facilities offer social activities that will give them a higher standard of life. They will be exposed to more people and have more opportunities to engage in socialization.

Rapidly Declining Health

It can be too difficult for you to make doctor appointments when your family members health is rapidly declining. It can be challenging for you to monitor them if their health is failing. Or, worse, they are at a higher risk of death. In a situation like this, they may need hospice care. Many nursing homes provide this level of attention to patients who need it.

Frequent Falls Or Other Injuries

If your loved one is entering into hospital care repeatedly for injuries caused by their state of health, it is necessary to consider a nursing home. Also, assistant living may be adequate for this situation; however, often, a nursing home is better for this situation.

The elderly do not heal from injuries as fast as the young. They are also more likely to be fatal if they occur. It is reasonable that they will need more invasive surgery than you would if you suffered from the same type of injury. In addition, elderly injuries can make healing extremely painful. Nursing staff will monitor their fall risk and help them bath safely. These tasks may be things that you are not able to do yourself.

Decide If Short Term Care Is Adequate

Short-term care may be an excellent option if you are going on a vacation that they are not in physical condition to go with you. It is a much safer option.

Another situation where short-term care might be needed is if you are suffering from caretaker burn out. Often, caretaker burnout will eventually decrease over time. It may give you time to develop new coping skills for the stress that comes from taking care of someone who is elderly, disabled, or injured.

An older person who needs surgery often requires a higher standard of care than a younger person who goes through surgery. The healing process after surgery is longer and comes with more risks to their health. Seniors are at a higher risk for death after hip surgery or any invasive procedure. Again, in this situation, they may need short-term care.

What You (And Family Members) Should Look For In A Nursing Home

Asking For The Opinion Of Your Loved One

Asking for opinions is not a decision that you and your loved one’s physician should only have input. Providing quality care happens when you ask what they want out of a facility. It will increase their willingness and happiness with being provided with this level of care.

While ensuring their physical and mental health is well taken care of, their level of comfort when it comes to treatment is also highly significant. A tour or a flyer presented can help them be apart of the decision-making process.

Sometimes, elderly or mentally ill people disagree with the idea of moving to nursing facility. However, making them part of the discussion will make the transition much easier for both you and them.

Tour The Facility

A common issue with nursing facilities can be the level of cleanliness they provide. A good indicator that they provide sanitary conditions is by checking out how the convalescent home smells. If they have a lot of incontinent patients, a bad smell may be impossible for them to control. The smell of the nursing home should not be unbearable.

Touring the facility can also give you an idea of how the staff treats the residents. You can watch interactions. At some facilities, nursing home staff lacks kindness and compassion towards the elderly and disabled residents who are often helpless.

Conversing with friendly staff is essential when it comes to your family member receiving a high level of comfort while there. It can also be a reliable indicator of staff abuse, physical or mental if you see harmful interactions between the staff and their residents.

You will get a sense of how comfortable the facility is by looking at it and judging it aesthetically. Often, facilities that provide comfy furniture and creature comforts are more focused on patient care and coziness. Unfortunately, if they are on Medicare with no other insurance policy, it may limit your options; however, in many cases, it does not.

Touring the assisted living facility gives you a chance to eat in the cafeteria. It’s a good idea to have your family member eat there, so that can judge the quality of the food and whether they will enjoy it.

Also, talking with a dietitian on staff may help you decide whether the facility is right for their dietary needs.

Ask About Social Activities

Most likely, you can see a list of social activities online that the facility offers. Many nursing and elderly homes have many social activities every day. They may include sports that do not stress the joints, craft activities, and holiday parties.

Often, seniors find eating in the cafeteria to be a good social outlet, too. Finding an old folks’ home with residents with the same cognitive function of your loved one is vital for keeping them socially satisfied as well as active.

Look At Lawsuits

The best way to find nursing home abuse allegations is to look up that nursing home’s lawsuit cases through Lexis Nexis. Here you can discover if they have been in the media due to a controversy. Nursing homes that have had multiple allegations are more likely to have staff members who will physically or mentally abuse their residents. The most common form of resident abuse in nursing homes is frequent and harsh restraining.

Taking neglect into consideration is highly crucial to ensure their safety. Some nursing homes may not provide your loved one with adequate bathing. There have been instances of bed bug infestations that have caused severe bodily harm to residents. Neglect is a sign that there may also be abuse in the facility.

Consider What You Or Your Loved One Can Pay For

A lot of facilities take Medicare that covers most or all of the cost; however, some facilities are more expensive than others. Some facilities are cash only. Others may only be affordable if your loved one has long-term care insurance. It’s important to talk with the workers who handle the nursing home’s financial department to discover the options you have for your family member.

Talk To Multiple Nursing Homes

It’s vital to compare and contrast different nursing homes as they all may not be suitable. For instance, some facilities require their patients with dementia to be wheelchair-bound. They must use a wheelchair because it is more difficult for them to care for dementia patients who are mobile. When mobile, they often run away or can engage in more unhealthy behavior that the staff is not able to manage.

Do you believe that your family member may eventually need hospice care? If so, you may want to choose a facility that has both nursing and hospice care available. It is a more natural transition for both you during this difficult time.

Some nursing homes can give more individualized care because they are smaller facilities. If your loved one has many medical issues, a smaller facility may be more appropriate. Some also prefer having more individualized attention and communication with the staff.

With that, a larger facility is better sometimes because they can engage in lots of social activities and may make a larger group of friends. Having social activities and communication with their peers is often beneficial to their mental health.

A Religious Connection

Many elderly and disabled people are used to going to church and find great comfort in that. Not every nursing home caters to those of a different faith besides Christianity. Some nursing facilities offer religious services to Jewish and Muslim people as they operate through that affiliation. It’s paramount to find a center that they feel connected to spiritually, if religion is beneficial to them.

If they do not care, you may have more nursing homes that are an option for them. Attending a religious service is not mandatory. Forcing someone to participate in religious meetings is illegal in the United States.

Depending on the nature of the religious ceremony, the service will typically occur on Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday. If you would like to choose a nursing home that does not cater to your religion, you can have a religious leader come to the nursing home to pray or have services with your loved one.

Handicap Friendly

A number of nursing homes are accessible to the disabled and elderly who use a walker or are in a wheelchair. Typically, if there is an access issue, it is in the dining room because the space is cramped.

It is usually the larger nursing homes that need to maximize the number of people in the dining room. However, this problem is rare. Almost all nursing homes have enough space for everyone to be in their chamber room comfortably. It is almost definite that they can comfortably fit a wheelchair or walker in the bathroom.

Adequate Security

Adequate security is highly essential to keep the residents safe. No one should be allowed in the facility that does not know the resident and isn’t on staff. So, staff should know all residents. They should have a visitation list. Security should ask every person who comes into the nursing home who are they and why they are there.

For residents with mental health issues or dementia, they must be in a facility that can offer extra security. Locking patients in their rooms is an abusive practice. A nursing home appropriate for residents who act out or run away will have a keypad for the staff to open doors. They should also do closer monitoring with cameras and have proper plans if behavior becomes an issue.

Is It Time To Find The Right Place For Your Loved One

The most important factors you should consider are the kindness of the staff, medical attention that your loved one will receive, and the overall safety of those who require care. Many residents find that they are much happier in nursing facilities where they can socialize.

It’s important to realize that it may be impossible for you to care for your mom or dad any longer. However, you should make every effort to visit them. Your parent is still part of the family; so let them know how much you care for them.

The majority of nursing homes allow families to take their loved ones out of the facility to enjoy activities with them. Taking them to a restaurant or movie is not out of the question. If a couple is both in need of care, many facilities will even allow you to share a room.

The facility you choose should make every effort to cater to your needs and your family member. We all have limitations. You and your loved one both do. Finding a facility that can adequately meet their care can make life much more enjoyable for everyone.

This article was written by Sherry L. Harris