If you’re loved one has reached a point in their life where they need assistance with one or more basic tasks, yet you’re hesitant about moving them into a nursing home, there are some alternatives to nursing homes that might be a more suitable option. In this article, we’ll discuss what a few of these alternatives are as well as provide you with a brief guide on how to choose a nursing home if you’re left with no other choice and need to place your loved one under the care of someone other than yourself.
Alternatives to Nursing Homes
Depending on what your loved one’s needs are, you may be able to utilize one of the following long-term care options in place of moving them into a nursing home:
- Home Care. If your loved one doesn’t pose as a risk to themselves, meaning you don’t have to worry about them wandering out of their home, but they need help with day-to-day tasks such as cooking, cleaning, etc., you may be able to hire someone to come to their home for a few hours out of the day to handle these tasks for them.
- Home Health Services. If your loved one is in need of skilled nursing care, you may be able to hire a part-time or full-time nurse to come and stay with them.
- Adult Daycare. If you are simply in need of assistance with caring for your loved one as you have to work or tend to your family’s needs, you might consider adult daycare as an alternative to a nursing home. Adult daycare centers provide individuals with assistance and supervision while their loved ones take care of their own day-to-day responsibilities.
- Senior Center. Senior centers are designed for older adults who are still independent. Many senior centers offer transportation services to and from the facility, allow older adults to interact with others alike, and even offer meals. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), research has shown that older adults who visit senior centers can “learn to manage and delay the onset of chronic disease and experience measurable improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental, and economic well-being.”
If none of the above-mentioned alternatives seem like the right fit for your loved one, whether it is due to financial reasons or because they need constant attention and assistance, then a nursing home might be your next choice. In this case, our Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyers do encourage you to review the tips listed below that explain how to choose a nursing home here in Chicago or in any other city you might be looking to relocate your loved one to.
Tips for Choosing a Nursing Home
- Use the Medicare Nursing Home Compare tool to find homes in the city of your choice and learn more about how each facility is rated.
When your list of homes comes up, you’ll notice that facilities will either be rated as much below average, below average, average, above average, and much above average. These ratings are given based on the home’s performance in the following areas:
- Health inspections
- Quality of resident care measures
Although a facility with a higher rating is a good indicator that the home is providing quality care, they cannot guarantee it and you should, therefore, continue with the next steps.
Important: If you come across a home with a red circle with a small hand inside, this means the home has been cited for abuse.
- Contact the health department for a copy of the last complaint investigation report.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services suggests that you not only compare nursing homes using their online compare tool, but also contact the health department so that you can receive a copy of the last complaint investigation report for any homes you might be interested in.
- Plan a visit to the nursing home.
While it is a good idea to show up unannounced, some homes may now require you to schedule a visit in advance. Whether your visit must be scheduled or not, be sure to pay attention to the following during your visit:
- The cleanliness of the facility.
- How friendly the staff is.
- The behavior of the other residents.
- Whether call lights are going off and how quickly they are being answered.
- The smell.
- The types of rooms that are available.
- The types of activities that are going on.
During your visit, you are also encouraged to ask plenty of questions until you feel your concerns have been addressed.
Important: If you’re going to be using Medicare or Medicaid to help cover some or all of your loved one’s nursing home care costs, you will need to be sure the home you choose accepts this first.
Moving a loved one into a nursing home is a big step and one that should only be taken with careful consideration. At Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., we understand how difficult this decision may be for you and your family and are here to help in any way we can. In the event you move your family member into a home and a concern arises, you can always contact our office to discuss your issue with a Chicago, IL nursing home abuse attorney.
At Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., we strive to protect the rights of aging individuals who are dependent on others for health care, supervision, and assistance. Feel free to contact us at 1-312-384-1920 if a legal question or concern comes up.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601