Finding the most suitable among the available nursing homes is not an easy task, and you could be under a lot of pressure to move quickly because of either deterioration of health or recent hospitalization. The more information you obtain regarding these facilities, the greater the chances that you will find the perfect fit. Listed below are some tips on how to narrow down your options:

Start with referrals: Your family physician or a specialist might have some recommendations, or you may know of friends or relatives who used such a facility in the past. Getting detailed information from someone with first-hand experience when it comes to retirement homes might help you narrow down your options. It is, however, important to remember that your needs could be different, especially since one size does not fit all.

Educate yourself: Today, online resources for such residences include ranking sites that employ the existing state data on their rating of nursing homes. Every state in the United States has a long term care ombudsman. And this constitutes an extremely valuable resource when it comes to the current condition of retirement homes. Alternatively, advocacy groups often offer hints regarding the most suitable facility.

Consider your medical needs: Most of the assisted living facilities usually have more expertise in a variety of areas. One facility might be experienced in the handling of stroke related issues while another has expertise in an entirely different condition such as Alzheimer’s. It is, therefore, important that you check and confirm whether or not a particular nursing home has the capability necessary to meet your needs adequately. Some of these facilities exclusively offer short-term rehabilitation, and you might be in need of long term care.

Factor in the distance: It is generally true that it is easier for your family and friends to visit when the retirement home you opt for is located a convenient distance from your home.

What to look for
Cleanliness: check and confirm whether or not the facility appears clean. Can you by any chance smell urine or the strong deodorizers usually used to cover up the smell of urine?

Food: check and confirm the type of meals served at these residences. Does the food appear appetizing and nutritious? Check on the handling of special diets as well as the sort of help available with such meals. Confirm whether or not you have to consume all meals in a common area or at the same time with the other patients.

Arrangement: Retirement homes are typically run the same way as medical facilities, which usually include a centralized nursing station as well as set medication times and mealtimes. However, some of these nursing homes are moving towards a different model altogether, incorporating smaller communities and communal areas. Such a facility might provide a more homely feeling if available.

Activities: check and confirm the available quality of life activities and whether or not outside activities are arranged whenever the health of residents permits.

Experience with your condition: check and confirm whether or not there are specialized activities, care units or members of staff to deal with individual cases. Check on how the staff handles issues relating to behavior such as agitation and wandering. There are online resources available at Sienna Living, which may provide you with more information.