As a founding partner of Life Generations Healthcare and Covenant Care Incorporated, Stephen Samuelian knows that choosing a nursing facility is an important and often difficult decision. A nursing facility selection involves many people, including the resident, the resident’s family, and health care professionals.
Most nursing facilities have literature spelling out their features. Not all nursing facilities are comparable in quality. After reviewing the information provided and narrowing down locations that might be a possibility, you will likely want to visit them. Spending time on site will reveal things that brochures, reviews, and numbers never will, explains Stephen Samuelian.
Look around. Are residents out and about or are most of them in bed or staring at the TV? Not being in their rooms means residents are participating in activities or interacting with others, and that typically suggests a better social environment.
Are call lights blinking and nobody is answering? You want to make sure Mom gets the care she needs and deserves. Visit more than once at different times and different days of the week. Talk to the staff and visitors and make sure to get specific answers, particularly if your loved one has unique needs.
Getting a feel for the overall environment goes a long way, says Stephen Samuelian. Are residents, common areas, and rooms clean? Use your nose. Are there odors in the hallways? What about temperature and lighting? These factors are especially important to older adults, notes Stephen Samuelian.
Watch the staff—are they genuine, affectionate, and helpful? Be respectful of caregivers and their time; their job is very demanding. Stephen Samuelian recommends letting them into your loved one’s lives by sharing interests and preferences. But above all, stay optimistic about the future and your loved one’s ability to adjust to his or her new life.