When your loved one needs to be moved into an assisted living facility, the transition can feel overwhelming. To help both yourself and your loved one feel ready for the huge step, you must take the process one step at a time. If this is your first time interacting with nursing homes, however, it’s difficult to know where to start. To guide you through this time, here is a handy guide to picking the right nursing home for your loved one in California:
Create a List of Your Top Choices
Before your search can become serious, it will be essential that you get your potential number of choices down to a reasonable amount. If you can get your options down to five or fewer nursing homes in California, you’ll have a much easier time finding the perfect nursing home for your loved one’s unique needs. By listing out your top choices, you’ll complete this crucial first step, and have a convenient document where you can begin listing information about each of your top choices (which will become invaluable as you begin crossing lesser choices off of your list of potential homes).
Compare and Contrast Both Prices and Amenities
We all wish we could place our loved ones in a home without any concern for the price of their care, but this is just not realistic for the majority of Americans. To ensure your loved one is getting the best care available for the budget involved, comparing and contrasting the prices, amenities, and more of each of your potential nursing home choices becomes critical. Many elderly people who are moving into a nursing home for the first time will be especially concerned about the types of amenities available to them, as this will help them transition more effectively, so be sure to pay extra attention to this aspect of this important step in the nursing home search process. With increased budgetary efforts for nursing homes in California, you may be able to access higher standards of care than you might at first expect.
Visit Each of Your Top Choices if Possible
Unfortunately, this step will not be possible for everyone. If possible, however, you should be visiting each potential choice (with your loved one who is potentially moving into the home if at all possible). Doing so will give you a better idea of the quality of the staff, the nature of the living facility, the social environment in the nursing home, and much more. For those who want the best visit possible, consider reaching out to your choices beforehand to see if you can get a walkthrough that’s guided by the director of the home (as this will make the visit much more transparent).
Prepare a List of Relevant Questions for Staff
If you go to your scheduled visits without any questions in mind, you will regret it. Before leaving your house, ensure that you have a list of relevant, well-thought-out, and reasonable questions to present to the Californian nursing home’s staff. If you’re fortunate enough to explore the facility you’re touring with the home’s director, you’ll need to put extra effort into putting together a list of relevant questions. If you’re visiting the home with your elderly loved one, allow them to put together a list of personalized questions as well (as this will help them feel involved in this important process).
Always Read Contracts Before Making a Final Decision
Once you’ve got your choices down to three or fewer potential homes, you should be looking over the potential contracts. Doing so with a lawyer is highly recommended if at all possible. Finding an attorney who can review the contract will ensure you’ll feel confident that your loved one will be happy and secure in their new home. As long as your elderly loved one has the mental capacity for the task, you should make sure they feel comfortable with the terms of the contract as well.
Know Your Rights
If you are looking for a new nursing home because of abuse your loved one has suffered at a previous nursing home, there are a few things to know.
You and your loved one are not alone. According to a California elder abuse attorney, “It has been estimated that one out of three CA senior care centers fails to provide the required minimum of 3.2 nursing hours to each patient every day.” That is a staggering number leading to negligence and/or abuse of the elderly.
If you are switching homes because of this, it is time to call an attorney to discuss your rights. Oftentimes, the attorney will give you a free consultation and you may not incur any fees upfront. Most are contingency bases meaning you don’t pay if you don’t win.
Prepare Your Loved One for the Transition
Even if your loved one is excited about the transition into their new living facility, you must spend time with them as they prepare for the transition. Ask them as many questions as possible about their concerns, wants, and any materials they’ll need to feel secure with their new living situation. By doing so you’ll have a much cleaner conscience about your decision, and will feel assured that your elderly loved one is fully ready for this huge step in their life. With any luck, they will feel more healthy, happy, and involved with their lives than they have in years after successfully transitioning into the perfect Californian nursing home that you’ve located for them.