What Should I Look for in a Nursing Home?

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Your mother, father or other relative is elderly, and you need to find them a nursing home or other type of adult care facility. This process is new to you, and you are not even sure where to begin. The residence must be a good fit for your loved one, so you know that they are happy, healthy and well cared for.

When you are researching senior care options, these are a few important things that you should consider.

· Your loved one's medical needs

First, you should consider the specific needs of your loved one. If they have Alzheimer's, ask if a facility has special care units for patients with dementia. If they are physically disabled or have other mobility issues, you want to find a home that has handicap access.

· Cost

No doubt, cost is a significant issue for many senior citizens and their families. Some nursing homes may be prohibitively expensive, even with the assistance of Medicare or Medicaid. Be direct when asking about costs so you can find an affordable residence.

· Safety and quality of care

Sadly, some senior citizens experience neglect or abuse in their care facilities. This often happens behind closed doors, but there are still signs of abuse that you can watch for when hunting for a nursing home. Look for:

· Residents who appear malnourished

· Residents with bruises, scars or other signs of physical abuse

· Residents who appear unkempt or otherwise neglected

· Whether the residents seem afraid of the care attendants

· The smell of urine or feces in the facility

If you see any of these signs, do not hesitate to inquire about them to the staff directly. You may also ask the residents and their family members how they feel about the nursing home. If you believe that a home you visit demonstrates signs of neglect or abuse, contact the authorities.

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