What you should know about nursing homes

When I’m helping a family find the right nursing home there are many things to consider. Most families ask for a specific area of town for convenience sake as well as one with a good overall rating. However, when I assist in finding a nursing home for a senior, I look at many factors.

While I try to accommodate a family’s request for a home close to family members, there are so many other items to take into consideration. All nursing homes are rated by the state. The system is a 5 star rating system. Even though a nursing facility may have excellent ratings, I still take into consideration the condition of my client and which home can best care for that client.

For example, a client with severe back pain needed assistance finding a nursing home that could accommodate her needs as well as her husband, who only needed assisted living. This narrowed the search quite a bit, but because of her need to regulate severe pain, I looked into the investigative reports to determine which of the nursing homes on the short list were best suited to care for her needs.

The client was surprised to find that one of the nursing homes, with some of the highest ratings, had a poor score when it came to regulating severe pain. That particular facility had 3 times the number of complaints versus the national average, for clients who had reported severe pain that was not regulated.

I also look at the overall patient satisfaction of each facility. This actually is the most important rating in my opinion. A facility makes the top of my lists when the patients report that they are well taken care of and have few complaints. Another important factor to take into consideration is the longevity of the caregiving staff. This is not something that shows up in reports, but comes from my personal knowledge of the facilities from my visits with them. When your loved one is in a nursing home, the caregiving staff becomes like a second family to them and the nursing facility becomes their new home. When there is high turnover in that staff, the patients are basically having strangers care for them, which leads to higher rates of depression and dissatisfaction. I would want my family member cared for by familiar faces and caregivers who were there long enough to develop a relationship with them!

Unlike many online search engine referral companies, I actually take the time to make sure my clients are well taken care of, based on their individual needs. If you are needing assistance, and not a simple referral, give me a call and I’ll make sure you find the nursing home, or assisted living accommodations that are best suited for your needs.

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