Choosing the Right Retirement Home For a Loved One

When your loved ones reach a certain age it might become necessary to choose a retirement home for them. This may include your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or in-laws. Regardless, you want the people you love the most to have the best care in their retirement home, which means you need to do your research and choose the perfect home for the people you love. There are many different aspects to consider, all of which will help you make the best decision for your family.

Location, Location, Location

Choosing a retirement home is no different than choosing a new house to purchase or apartment to rent. You want to make sure that the location of the retirement home is somewhere safe and nearby. The neighborhood in which the retirement community is located in should have a police presence, a fire department, and the home itself should be gated. You don’t want to choose a retirement community in a bad or dangerous neighborhood.

Additionally, one of the biggest mistakes people make when choosing a retirement home is not choosing one close enough to their own home. People of a certain age thrive when they have frequent contact with their friends and family members. You want to be able to visit your loved ones on a regular basis, so they home should be close to where your loved ones already live, or at least close to where you live. Furthermore, the quality of care that your loved ones receive in a retirement home is largely dependent on how many visitors they get. Retirement homes want you to know that your loved ones are being cared for, and if they know you can be there at any given time, any moment of any day, they are going to make sure your loved ones are getting the best possible care.

Consider the Staff

There are several things you need to do to make sure the staff at the retirement home you choose is what you’re looking for. For one, you need to make sure that all the people who work at the home are experienced working in retirement homes. You can absolutely ask nurses what their education and qualifications consist of. Additionally, you need to make sure there is enough staff for each resident. The ratio between the staff and the patients is critical in choosing the home where your loved ones will receive the best possible care.

Ask the staff some questions. Get to know them a little. You can do this by asking about their educational and working background. Ask them what they’d do if there was an unexpected disaster such as a fire, tornado, or power outage at the home. The answers the staff provides helps you to determine whether or not they know their jobs and are willing to take the time to care for your loved ones. Additionally, you can get to know them a little and decide whether or not they are personable and friendly.

Visit the Home

Before you commit your loved ones to living in any retirement home, ask to visit. A good home will allow you to visit anytime you want, without notice. Beware of any retirement home that wants you to book a time frame in advance and turns you away from visiting without an appointment. This may indicate that the quality of care the residents are receiving is not up to par. While you are at the home, take note of the interaction between patients and staff. Do they seem friendly and likable? Are the patients happy and smiling or do they seem unhappy? Is the atmosphere relaxed and inviting or cold and intimidating? Talk to some of the residents and ask for recommendations and references.

Ask to join the residents for a meal. You’ll be able to chat with them about their experience in the retirement home and see how the food is.

Check Out the Details

Are there activities for your loved ones to enjoy? Are they free to take walks around the home, play games with friends, have their grandchildren to visit, and are there activities they can participate in? All of these things are essential to knowing whether or not your loved ones will be happy in their new home.

Knowing that your loved ones are happy and well treated makes choosing a retirement home an easy process. However, before you commit to choosing a home for them, bring them to visit. Your opinion is important, but their opinion is more important. After all, they are the people who will consider this place home for what is likely the rest of their lives. Make sure they enjoy the space, the community, and the staff. It’s imperative when choosing a retirement home.

(information referenced some by personal experience as well as from

Nisha is a freelance writer currently helping to represent the charity 

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