How to Choose a Skilled Nursing Facility for Your Loved One
It isn’t easy to choose a skilled nursing facility for someone you love. However, families who find their resources, time, or capabilities stretched thin often find themselves faced with this difficult decision, and often worry whether they’re making the right choice. Difficult, but — if you know the right questions to ask, and the right things to look for — not impossible. Princeton Health Care Center can help!
Know What to Look For
There are numerous articles and resources online that help to evaluate skilled nursing facilities. The most useful we’ve found comes from medicare.gov (PDF). It’s an extensive checklist that can help you to know the right questions to ask and the right criteria on which to base your decision. We’ve included further guidelines below.
Evaluate the Staff and Facility
There are some simple steps you can take that will help you get a feel for the staff and the facility you’re researching. We suggest visiting at least twice, and one of these visits should be on short notice. If you try to schedule a visit and find you’re repeatedly being put off, beware.
Once you arrive, here are some things to look for and questions to ask.
- What is the average staff turnover? Make no mistake, skilled care is physically and emotionally demanding. However, any facility should have staff at various levels who have been with the organization for some time.
- What is the condition of the facilities? The grounds should be well cared-for, as should the interior of the building. Cleanliness is also vital. Attention to smaller details often indicates a similar attention to detail when it comes to patient care.
- How do the residents look? The residents should appear clean, happy, and well-fed. Observe their interactions with staff; are the staff respectful, kind, and patient? Do they quickly assist residents who need help with feeding and mobility?
- Are their papers in order? The facility should be Medicare and Medicaid certified, and should not have had its license revoked. It’s also worth asking whether background checks are conducted on staff, patient to staff ratio, and how many nurses are on duty for each shift.
Know the Services Offered
The services offered by skilled nursing facilities can vary widely. The Princeton Health Care Center staff makes all of the following available to our residents:
- Health care services that include IV therapy, pain management, respiratory care, and wound management
- Various types of therapy, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy
- Dietary and dietician consultants
- Social services, long-term care, and hospice care
- Activities to keep mind and body engaged, and a beauty and barber salon for a bit of extra pampering
Residents might not take advantage of all of the services available to them, but it often gives families peace of mind knowing they’re always there.
Location should also factor into your choice of a skilled nursing facility. Princeton Health Care Center, for instance, is located in a bucolic country setting, but we’re a short distance from Princeton Community Hospital and a number of local healthcare providers. Geography doesn’t always allow for lovely scenery, but access to a hospital and other care providers is a must.
Location should be considered for another reason: the facility you choose should be easily accessible to friends and family who wish to visit your loved one. Those visits will allow you to monitor their progress and their care, and also brighten their days.
The choice of a skilled nursing facility for you or someone you love raises a lot of questions, but a good facility will take the time to address those questions and concerns in detail. If you’re seeking skilled nursing in Mercer County WV, reach out to Princeton Health Care Center to schedule an in-person visit today.