Choosing the Right Facility
When your loved one is no longer able to care for themselves, you may be considering a nursing home. These facilities typically offer 24 hour care, three meals a day, medical treatment, and other activities such as therapy and rehabilitation.
Some elderly people will stay at a nursing home for a few months to recover after being in the hospital. Most, however, will make this their new permanent home.
Choosing the right facility will take time and tends to involve careful consideration. If you are looking for a nursing home in Tennessee, ask the hospital, your doctor's office, or turn to online reviews. When you have an idea of the available choices, be sure to consider the following:
Think About What is Most Important - An older person's needs will vary depending on their current state of health and wellbeing, as well as, their preferences. Be sure to consider whether things like the amount of nursing care, type of meals, religious affiliation, hospice availability, or special care units matter to you.
Ask Around - Discuss with family members, social workers, support groups, or friends to see if they have any recommendations for nursing homes.
Contact the Facility - Make a list of the facilities you are interested in and get in touch with them. Ask them about their staff, patient capacity, staff to patient ratio, costs, whether there is a waiting list, and so forth.
Visit the Nursing Home - Arrange a visit to the facility and meet with the director. Look for certifications by Medicare and Medicaid, warm interactions between the patients and residents, whether patients look satisfied, the cleanliness of the facility, etc.
Visit the Home Again - It is recommended that you visit the facility again, but without scheduling an appointment. Try a random time and day of the week and see how things are functioning.
Know the Terms - Once you find the right facility, you will likely need to sign a contract. Be sure to read this in full and ask if you don't understand something. It is also a good idea to have a family member, friend, or lawyer also review the contract.Tips for Choosing a Nursing Home in Tennessee
As you search for the right nursing home for your loved one, consider these tips:
- During your visit, look at the meals. How do they appear, do they meet the dietary requirements, do they look fresh?
- What does the facility smell like? There could be unpleasant smells due to the type of facility you are visiting; however, they should not be stale or old-smelling.
- What are residents doing in the afternoons? If the facility is empty in the afternoons, the resident's may be sticking to their rooms which is not always a good sign.
- Do you notice bruising on the patients? Although bruises are more common in older people, finger or hand shaped bruises are not normal and could indicate neglect or abuse.
- What kind of noises can you hear? Yelling is possible in a nursing home, especially if there are patients with dementia. What you should listen for is the way staff talk to the patients.
When you have a loved one that can no longer live at home alone the search for a quality skilled care facility can be overwhelming. We have set out some information below that should help you with these difficult decisions.
- How do I Decide Between a Nursing Home and Assisted Living?
- How can I pay for Specialized Nursing Home Care?
- Information on Area Nursing Homes
If your loved one is already in a nursing home and you are noticing signs of abuse or neglect, you should not ignore them. Your next step should be to consult a nursing home lawyer in Tennessee.
For a consultation with a nursing home lawyer you can count on, call the Higgins Firm.