In past blog posts, we have briefly touched upon the CHOICE you have when it comes to finding a post-acute care provider or skilled nursing facility (SNF) that is suitable for a loved one or you. Staying informed and knowing what you are looking for makes the process much easier. We, more than anyone, hope that you never have to use a SNF in your lifetime, but you should prepare for instances down the road where you may need one. With life’s unexpected accidents and people living longer, it is important to look at all your SNF options in advance. You NEVER want to settle for somewhere you do not feel comfortable, and in a moment of panic, it is easy to be swayed to make a decision based off of urgency and convenience.
Start your research early on by asking around about other people’s experiences with skilled nursing facilities in the area. More likely than not, someone you already know has had to utilize the professional services of a SNF for themselves or a loved one. These first hand experiences will be great resources as you start to look into your SNF options. Once you have a solid list of reputable facilities, the next step is to start setting up tours.
When you go on a tour of a potential skilled nursing facility, it is important to look beyond the physical appearance of the facility, although that will be a major factor in your decision. A few things to pay attention to while on your tour are:
1) The Residents- Do they seem happy and content? The way the residents feel is a great indication of the care they are receiving.
2) Are your questions being answered? A skilled nursing facility that has nothing to hide will be transparent and responsive about your questions and concerns.
3) Who made time to speak with you? If the admissions director or facility administrator didn’t make time for you, who did? It is important you do not feel ignored or rushed out the door because they have more important things going on.
4) The Overall Vibe- Once you pay attention to these aspects during your tour, you’re going to be left with an overall “vibe” of the facility. As you are leaving, ask yourself if you would feel comfortable admitting a loved one to recuperate there based off of everything you just saw.
Once you decide which SNF best meets your needs, remember that the process does not end there. Throughout your entire time at a SNF, it is crucial to speak up and have all of your concerns dealt with. Speaking up about something that is wrong or makes you uncomfortable is an important way to prevent future problems and maintain your happiness. A reputable SNF will always encourage and solicit your feedback.