The Challenges of Picking the Right Nursing Home

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Whether you are approaching your golden years or you have an aging parent that is, it can be a scary stage of life for anyone. Things are changing in your body and mind that you have little control over, affecting all other facets of your life. Your energy levels may not be as high as they used to be, and your body is more vulnerable to disease and decay than ever.

One of the most important conversations that aging adults can have with their family members is about their care needs. There comes a time in many people’s lives when they may have to accept that long-term care is their only option for happier and healthier final years.

But choosing the right facility for yourself or your aging loved one can be difficult. There are a lot of concerns to keep in mind when shopping around for the perfect nursing home. Here are a few things to know about nursing homes and what makes some better than others. 

History of Abuse

Nursing home abuse is, unfortunately, a big problem in this country. The elderly are incredibly vulnerable to neglect and abuse because they are less able to stand up for themselves. As a result, they are often the victims of neglect or abuse from other elderly, staff members, or healthcare professionals in nursing homes. 

Checking for a history of nursing home abuse at the facilities you are checking out is a simple way to feel more confident with your choice. When people see the signs of nursing home abuse and end up filing a claim, that information can be found pretty easily. A quick Google search can reveal if a specific facility has a history of abuse or neglect.


The simplest way to measure the reputation of any business is to see what current and past customers have said about it. Online reviews are available for most businesses via a Google search, but some tools are specifically designed for nursing home ratings. These resources can give you a vital perspective into what life looks like at a specific facility for the residents that live there. Plus, they can provide honest feedback about the healthcare services, staff attentiveness, social calendar, and overall quality of the accommodations. Knowing the level of care you or your loved one will be receiving can make the decisions a little easier.

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Schedule a Visit

Now it is time to get on-site to inspect the facility yourself. Scheduling a visit with other family members is crucial because it means more eyes are available to look around and inspect the facility. This time should be used wisely, and not just to ask questions of the staff that you are meeting with. Take a look around at some of the residents and staff that are going about their days if you can. Does anything seem amiss? Do the residents appear to be enjoying themselves? Are the staff attentive and ready to help when an individual asks for it? Make sure you keep an eye out as you move through the facility and come prepared with a lot of questions.

Concern for Loneliness

One of the biggest challenges for elderly individuals moving to a nursing home is loneliness. While they lived at home, it might have been easier for friends and family to visit. However, once they live in the long-term care facility, access might become a little more limited. Even though there are social events with other residents, it may not be enough to cover the relationship gap.

Look into visitation policies for the facility you are exploring. Talk about scheduling phone calls with your loved one to keep in touch more, especially during the early days of the residency. Try to make every effort to visit them in person so that they feel loved and supported by their family members. Loneliness often leads to depression in seniors, and quality time with family and friends can reduce the risk.

Research Makes the Process Go Smoother

During this challenging life stage, elderly individuals can face a lot of emotions. Negativity and depression are common symptoms as they consider leaving the home they have lived in for so many years to move into a new environment. Plus, if they feel like they are being forced into this situation, there can be some anger as well. The best approach to these conversations is to be honest and empathetic. Listen to what their desires are but be willing to be realistic about their needs. 

When trying to find the perfect nursing home for yourself or your loved one, research can make things much easier. The more you know about what each facility has to offer, the easier it is to compare and select the right fit. Learn all that you can about life in a nursing home before you start talking with your aging parents about moving into a long-term care facility.