When looking for a skilled nursing facility, sometimes the hardest part is often taking that first step and acknowledging that this type of care center is precisely what is needed. Long-term care is not the only reason that one of these facilities is necessary. Often, when recovering from surgery, stroke or an accident, rehabilitation and physical therapy are necessary to regain everyday living skills and movement.
First, you will want to do online research of facilities offering assistance in the field specific to an illness or injury. For example, many institutions offer great resources for patients with Alzheimer’s, or who have suffered strokes. Often you can par your list down by research and reading reviews on each place. You should definitely visit each one and take a thorough tour. Here are some points of what to look for in a skilled nursing facility.
• Smell – Does it smell bad? It is understandable that maybe one room may have a bad odor, but if it is throughout the entire facility, cross it off your list.
• Talk to the residents – Do they look happy? Nothing can be more of a downer than being around people that are mopping around.
• Talk to the staff – Do they look like they are enjoying their job? Do they talk and interact with the residents?
• The dining area – Does it look like a school cafeteria or a dining room on a cruise ship? Often, a tour includes having lunch in the same dining area as the residents so you can get an idea of what you would be eating while you are there. Do they have a nice variety? Is the food bland? For the elderly, eating is a major part of life and also a social time, so this point is very important!
• Staff – You will want to know if there is sufficient staff twenty-four hours a day in order to handle problems that might arise. Do they have physical, occupational, speech and other therapists on staff to work with the residents on a regular schedule? How often do they have exercise programs with these therapists?
• Extra-curricular activities – Having additional planned activities such as movies, games, crafts, outings or parties help the residents not only get to know each other, but get them out of their rooms.
Wherever you choose, you want to feel safe, comfortable and have a good quality of life. You will feel better and your loved ones will feel better knowing you have found a good skilled nursing facility.