Long-Term Care: talking, deciding, taking action Home

“How do I begin to look for a nursing home?”

“I don’t even know what to look for or what questions to ask.”

The Eldercare Locator is online at www.eldercare.gov or by calling 800-677-1116.

For more information on culture change and the pioneer movement, visit the Pioneer Network.

Nursing Home Decision

people playing checkers ina nursing homeThe need for nursing home care may be a difficult decision for you and your family members. A nursing home may not have been your first choice for long-term care services. It isn’t uncommon for family members to promise their relatives that they will never put them in a nursing home and discover later that they can’t keep the promise. It’s also hard to determine at times if a person is able to continue to live independently or if he/she may benefit from assistance.

Today there are a wide range of in-home and community services that provide care and allow people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Some of these services include home-health care, chore homemaking services, home delivered meals, in-home paid caregivers, and adult day services. However, when it’s clear that a person needs around the clock care and assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, walking, as well as medical care, living in a nursing home may be the best alternative.

Once the decision is made to move into a nursing home, it is hard to know where to begin. People can provide guidance and resource information. They include:

The local Area Agency on Aging is a good resource to contact about services. In addition, the Administration on Aging sponsors the Eldercare Locator, a national resource for families who want to know about services where their family member lives.

Some long-term care providers have made changes in their facilities’ organizational practices and physical environments to follow the culture change or pioneer movement, and have transitioned from a medical model of care to a person-directed, person-centered care model. The person-centered model advocates that individuals’ preferences and needs are included in the care plan. It also supports the idea that residents should live in a community environment where their voices are heard, choices are considered, and the living environment feels as much like “home” as possible.