If you are looking at skilled nursing facilities for an elderly relative, you have lots of choices. It can be hard to make a decision that you feel is the right one. Here are some things to look for in the facility you end up choosing.
As you browse skilled nursing facilities for your elderly loved one, you should pay attention to the attitude of the staff. Think about how you would like to be treated when you are older, and consider whether the staff members seem capable of offering that treatment. You should feel free to ask questions and expect thorough answers rather than be brushed off or ignored. You should also feel confident the staff members actually care about the residents there and will go out of their way to be kind and comforting. If they seem to be uninterested in helping residents feel at home, you should look elsewhere.
You should also take note of what makes each facility unique from all of the other skilled nursing facilities you can choose from. For example, some offer pet therapy programs in which dogs are trained to give comfort to seniors. If your loved one enjoys the company of pets and seems lonely or in need of attention and affection, having a few dogs around might be helpful. If your elderly relative likes to swim or take walks each day, look for a facility with a swimming pool, ample walking paths, and other amenities many seniors enjoy. You can always ask your relative what he or she would like to have access to in the chosen facility, and then choose based on that.
Finally, make sure the facility you select offers personalized care for each resident. Not all elderly people are the same. You already know that, but some new or untrained employees of certain skilled nursing facilities might not realize it. Make sure the staff is carefully trained to accommodate the individual needs of each resident when possible. For instance, some seniors enjoy home-cooked meals, and others even like to help cook or bake their own food. Make sure the policy is flexible enough to accommodate unique needs, at least when it is safe to do so.
When possible, make sure you get the opinion of your loved one before you make a choice. The process of browsing different skilled nursing facilities make take some time before you are confident with your decision. But the result should make the long process worthwhile.