Shopping for a Nursing Home – Part 5

January 14, 2016

Moving into a skilled nursing facility, whether for a week, a month or maybe several years, is something that should looked on with excitement! If you’re a short term rehab patient, every day you’re getting closer and closer to a return to full independence and your normal way of life. And along the way you’ll meet some great people, and have some interesting experiences.

If you intend to be a long term resident and this is your new home, then think of it that way. You’re moving into a place with a groundskeeper, a maintenance staff, a chef, and a housekeeper. You don’t have to worry about the shopping, the taxes or the endless record-keeping. Oh yes, and you now have a staff of people whose full time job is to make sure you have fun! So talk to them. Ask to meet the recreation director and see what he or she is like. Ask about the kinds of activities they run and request a copy of the monthly calendar of events. Is it the same thing repeated over and over or is it a schedule that would interest you. Does the recreation team also conduct activities that the public is invited to? How often?

What about trips to outside activities, like sporting events, shows, or shopping? Are they rare or regular occurrences? Is transportation provided? And what sort of family events are on the schedule? After all, if this is going to be your home, you might want to entertain once in a while. The recreation director can probably tell you about the culture of the facility too, and any activities they provide specific to a particular group, as well as the availability of religious services.

There’s a lot to think about when making a decision as important as this one. If you have the opportunity, talk to the social worker or discharge planner at the hospital, and ask for a list of appropriate facilities. Visit all of them on-line by going to their web-sites and reading them carefully. Then plan to make a personal visit to the two or three homes that seem to be the best fit. If you’d like to download our Choosing the Right Facility checklist, click here. And don’t be embarrassed to take it with you as a guideline so that you’re sure to remember all the important questions.

Good luck in your new home!

Thank you for joining us for our Shopping for a Nursing Home guide!

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