Aging is something everyone has thought about some time in their life. Things like, “What would I do if I were older?” or “If I were older I would do this!” But what we all try not to think about is aging to the point we cannot care for ourselves. Those who are unable to care for themselves usually end up in a nursing home.

There are many reasons for being in a nursing home. One reason is because the person is unable to care for themselves and their loved ones aren’t able to provide the appropriate care that is needed for them as well. Therefore, the option is placement in the nursing home. The placement can seem scary but can be the best thing for everyone, including the one who will live there.

If and when the time comes will the right decision be made? The decision will be placing ourselves or our loved one into a nursing home. This seems to be the last place anyone wants to think of. No one likes to think of spending their last time on earth in a nursing home. But it does not have to feel or seem like the end of the world. It’s all in choosing what’s best and with that it will be choosing the right facility for the person.

By choosing a nursing home that will be appropriate for everyone, there are some things that should be considered. First, and more importantly, make sure everyone is in agreement with the decision, even the person that is moving into the facility – if they are able to. Talk with family, friends and healthcare providers about nursing homes that provide good care. Make a list of them. Then call and talk with the facilities that are on the list. Also check on the cost of the stay and how payment should be made. Then visit them all to see for yourself.

When making the visit, talk with the administrator, director of nursing, social services director and the activity director to learn what is offered for quality of life and care for residents at the facility. Make sure that the location is close to friends and family that can come visit often. Ask questions about the facility, does it offer physical therapy, if the person should ever need it? Check out the facilities meals, activity calendar and what other services the facility provides like: hospice, special units for dementia and religious connection, if they ever need it. Before leaving, make sure to talk to a few residents and get their input on the facility.

Although, there is a lot to consider in making the right decision on a nursing home placement, always remember to ask questions. Everyone should understand the process in placing someone in nursing home and know the rules and regulations of the nursing home. Understand that during the decision making a person can visit a facility more than once before deciding on the placement.

These are only a few things to consider and a lot to take in, but if anyone has any other questions on how to choose a nursing home, contact the Ombudsman Supervisors, Sherra Belk or Michelle Goins at 405-273-6410 or 1-800-375-8255. The Ombudsman Supervisors are available to speak to your group or organization upon request.