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Worst Mistakes Made When Selecting A Nursing Home

At Elderwerks we help families select nursing homes, assisted living, retirement communities, and home care assistance. The following mistakes can complicate an already stressful decision.

Do NOT wait until an emergency to select a nursing home. Making a choice in a crisis means you have fewer options. Start the process as early as possible. If you know you will need a rehabilitation facility; post knee surgery, have a facility selected prior to the procedure. If Mom unexpectedly broke her hip; start on day one of her hospital stay looking at rehabilitation programs. The average length of a stay in the hospital is now only 3-4 days for a hip replacement. You do not want to start the selection process on day three of the hospital stay!

NOT looking into assisted living options. An entire industry of helping seniors stay in their own home or stay out of a nursing home has grown in the last ten years. Assisted living is one of the viable alternatives to skilled nursing as it can provide 24 hours of supervision. Elderwerks Senior Care Consultant will provide you free help in selecting housing and stay-at-home care options.

NOT checking out survey results. Another free resource is www.medicare.gov where you can enter your city or zip code of the locations you are looking in. Survey data for all Medicare regulated nursing homes which can be compared with the nursing home comparison tool.

NOT talking to staff and other residents. Taking a tour of the potential community is a way to determine if happy staff and residents are part of the environment. That is more important than up to date decorating.

NOT a match for care needs. If your family member needs dialysis does the facility provide this in-house or will they need to be transported three times a week to a dialysis center? If your family member has dementia, does the care facility provide this specialized type of care management? Does the Staff create a home like setting and really cares about the residents needs as the priority?

Throughout the selection process keep in mind the needs of the family caregiver. The location and services provided should be decreasing your stress level not increasing it. Don’t stay with a poor selection. If things are not working out and you have attempted to resolve them with the administration make a change. Happiness within you and your family members lives is worth the trouble.