Tips In Selecting A Nursing Home
Whether you are an elder looking for a nursing home to move into, or you are the family members of an elder who is in need of daily assistance, choosing the right facility might feel like a daunting task. Tennessee is home to several hundred nursing homes; each of them offer a different setting, staff, and services. Before you sign a residential agreement, it is important to compare your options and make a sound decision based upon the needs of the elder.
Tips to Choosing a Tennessee Nursing Home
The Location - It will be a good idea to find a nursing home that is within a short drive from close family members and friends, as well as, the hospital and doctors. Not only will you be able to visit your elder more often, which is very important, but you can also plan unscheduled visits which may prevent the possibility of neglect or abuse.
The Size - Tennessee nursing homes vary significantly in size. Some facilities feel like a large village while others are small and limited to ten or twenty residents. There are several advantages to both options, and those in between. For example, a smaller home might provide the elder with more personalized attention; however, their services may be limited.
Financing Options - A large majority of elders will be paying for the nursing home care with Medicaid or Medicare. Others may prefer to use a private health insurance carrier or cash. Regardless of how you will be covering the high costs of a facility, check to see what is covered. You should also know what the cost includes and what you may have to cover out of pocket. Bare in mind services like television, internet, household items (i.e. toothpaste), or even medication may not be included in the cost.
Room Choice and Sharing - Some nursing homes offer private bedrooms while others require residents to share a room with another person. If you have a preference for either option, it is important to know about this ahead of time. Ask the nursing home about how they assign rooms and what their policies are in the event of your elder being unable to get along with their roommate.
Bedhold - According to Medicaid, seven days of bedhold will be included. Bedhold consists of paying the nursing home to keep a bed for the elder while they are in the hospital. You should find out what the policy is for holding a bed after the seven day period. For example, some facilities will help you to keep the bed available and others do not.
Morale and Privacy - When you find a nursing home that you're interested in, schedule a visit, or drop by unannounced to take a look around. Note the current residents; do they look comfortable and happy? Are they being respected? How active are they? How are the staff responding to their needs?
Food - If at all possible, take a look at the food that is being served. To get this opportunity you may need to visit around lunchtime. You might ask the current residents about the meals and whether or not they like them. If your edler has special dietary requirements or preferences, be sure to talk with the nursing home about this beforehand.Check The State of Tennessee Health Department
The State of Tennessee Health Department offers a comparison tool for nursing homes in Tennessee. You are encouraged to use this tool in your search for a facility. Furthermore, both Tennessee and Federal regulators inspect, survey, and rate the state nursing home on a frequent basis. The inspections are reviewed and compiled by Medicaid and included on a comparison chart. The report also details whether there were deficiencies, and how many exist. The severity of the violation is also noted. You should pay attention to these violations, as well as, the extent of the problem. For instance, some facilities have minor violations while others are very serious. You can review this chart on the comparison website found here.
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