Are Your Parents Really Getting the Care They Need? How to Choose a Nursing Home


Health care agencies

As parents age, health problems can seem to multiply quickly and unexpectedly. Many elders are cared for in private homes, but when more supervision or care is needed, an assisted living facility or nursing home is a popular choice. There are over 16,000 nursing homes in the United States, and they are in the business of providing full-time, 24-hour care for loved ones who have substantial medical needs.

If a loved one is reaching an advanced age, is dealing with a serious illness, or is working through the issues involved with a disabling condition, nursing homes provide food, medicine, transportation to doctors’ appointments, and social programming and companionship.

Skilled nursing facilities are also assisting living conditions in improving and can provide therapy or mental health treatment in-house, if the loved one cannot travel to appointments. Some nursing care homes also offer senior independent living programs that allow the elders to play cards, reminisce about past experiences, sing, exercise and dance.

Assisting living conditions is more than a full-time job, and a long term care facility is staffed around the clock. Housekeeping is a daily priority to maximize health and prevent the spread of unwanted illnesses, and all staff are trained to interact politely with residents.

Respecting residents is also a topic that is built into staff training. Many members of staff in a skilled nursing facility like to sing old songs with residents, give gentle memory prompts, ask about family and personal history, and have a deep love for working with long-term residents who are recovering from or dealing with a long illness.

Choosing the best long term care facility has to be done in person. Referrals from friends and family are a wonderful starting point, but a tour of any facility is best done during a scheduled activity. That way, the family has a chance to see the staff busy and assisting living activities for more than one resident at a time. Grace under pressure is a very desirable quality for a nursing home staff to possess.

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