Choosing the right nursing home here in Arkansas can be difficult. It is often a stressful and frustrating process because most people don’t think about the available options until they absolutely have to. While some folks do have a long-term plan for themselves or their loved ones, a great many others don’t consider nursing homes until they no longer have an alternative.
Selecting the right facility requires asking a lot of questions, including:
- Where is it located?
- How many other residents are there?
- What services are offered?
- Is the staff knowledgeable and empathetic?
- Does this facility have a history of negligence or misconduct?
Location is among the important considerations in choosing a nursing home. When placing a loved one, you’ll want to find a facility that’s located within proximity of your own home or within a reasonable distance of other loved ones.
While you might find a fantastic option an hour away, be realistic: are you going to be able to make that drive every day or even every weekend? You’ll want to be close to your loved one—or, at the very least, ensure they have other friends and family who can check in on them when you’re unavailable.
Location can have lifestyle consequences, too. Is there a noisy highway nearby? A hospital? Are there safe spaces for residents to exercise, walk, or enjoy a breath of fresh air?
When it comes to nursing homes, size is important and can have a massive impact on a resident’s well-being. Think about whether your loved one:
- Values their privacy. Would they be comfortable sharing a room with someone else?
- Is an introvert or extrovert. Will they be able to get enough interaction with other residents, or would they prefer peace and quiet?
- Is active. Does this nursing home have any recreation facilities for able-bodied residents? Are there safe walking trails, parks, or other on-site facilities?
Nursing homes are a type of assisted-living arrangement. While your loved one’s experience may vary greatly depending on their health, the availability of certain services—or lack thereof—can exert a major impact on a resident’s happiness.
However, not all nursing homes have adequate resources or administration. If your loved one has any special needs, find out in advance whether they can be accommodated.
Here, special needs can include:
- Specific medical services
- Individual preferences for housing assignment, meal choices, or entertainment
- Kitchens that can accommodate dietary restrictions
You’ll want to ensure not only that a nursing home’s services can fulfill individual expectations and needs but that it’s staffed by well-trained, qualified employees who have the skills and experience to both empathize with residents and render prompt, professional treatment in the case of any medical emergencies.
Before committing to any given location, find out:
- How staff members are hired and whether they undergo credential and criminal background checks
- If there are trained nurses available at all times
- What other people’s experience has been with a particular nursing home
Lastly, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any potential red flags. The last thing you want to do is send a loved one—or yourself—to a facility that doesn’t treat its residents with the love and respect they deserve.
You can find out a lot by knowing where to look:
- Do a search for any news related to a nursing home
- Check the Medicare.gov website—it has a search function that lets you look up individual nursing homes, which are rated based on their history of staffing violations and health inspection results
If a facility has recorded violations, use Medicare’s virtual tool to see what happened—if it was a relatively minor mistake, ask the nursing home’s management what they’ve done to prevent similar incidents from recurring.
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In case you have any further concerns, send us a message or give us a call—we’re local experts who can help you navigate the legal practicalities of not only affording a nursing home but protecting you or your loved one once you’ve made a decision.
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