How to Select a Nursing Home for Elderly Relative in Chicago, IL

Helping a loved one live their life to the fullest during their senescence is both a challenge and an honor. There are many things to consider as they age, such as how to protect their physical and mental capacities, how to manage their affairs if they are incapacitated, and how to juggle your own life with their needs, but one of the most difficult – and most contentious – decisions is if and when to place them in a nursing home.

For many older Chicagoans, nursing homes are associated with a loss of freedom, boredom, and loneliness, but this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, many nursing homes are actually quite vibrant and thriving communities that help elderly individuals feel like a true part of a community, with many activities and ways to stay engaged in everyday life.

However, this all comes down to the nursing home you choose, which is why it’s essential to fully understand all the benefits and downsides of this care option. Today, we’ll look at the four types of nursing facilities and what safeguards you have should you expect something to be amiss with your loved one’s care.

Familiarize Yourself with the Different Types of Nursing Homes

nursing homes

“Nursing home” is actually a catch-all phrase that describes numerous different types of facilities, each which are designed to help seniors with varying capabilities and medical needs. As you prepare by researching nursing homes in Chicago, keep these designations in mind to help tailor your search.

The least intensive form is an Assisted Living Facility (ALF), which is for those who don’t have extensive medical requirements. Here, residents can get help with dressing, bathing, eating, and taking their medication, depending on their needs, but they are otherwise encouraged to stay fit and active. These facilities are great for people who may have mobility restrictions but don’t require frequent medical interventions or memory care.

Next is the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), which is for those who have greater medical needs; here, the residents enjoy 24-hour nursing access just as they would get in a hospital, but the facility is designed for long-term stay. This is a good option for individuals who will be receiving frequent treatments, or who have conditions that need consistent management like heart failure or cancer.

If your loved one is relatively independent now but you suspect they will have increasing needs later on, you may consider a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), which has a combination of independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing facilities all within the same area. This allows residents to transition from one form of housing to another as their needs change, but without losing the sense of community they’ve come to love. CCRCs are an excellent option for extroverted individuals who thrive on social interaction because they can be guaranteed to develop close relationships with their fellow residents.

Finally, for those suffering from cognitive impairments, a memory care facility is the best choice. These nursing homes are designed for patients with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia to provide a restful and supportive environment. Individuals with memory issues have particular needs, and the staff in these facilities are specially trained to provide such services.

Know the Warning Signs of an Abusive Facility

Know the Warning Signs of an Abusive Facility

Your advocacy doesn’t end when your relative enters their new abode: you need to stay vigilant for signs of abuse all throughout their time there. Some signs are obvious, like bed sores and suspicious bruises, but others can be subtler, such as noticing that your loved one has become withdrawn and their condition is worsening faster than you would expect.

The best way to prevent abuse is to visit regularly. Get comfortable with the staff and ensure that they know your relative still has close contact with their family; this can discourage them from taking advantage of your loved one. This will also allow you to ask your parents or grandparents about how they are being treated and get their honest opinion of their care.

If you suspect abuse, it’s essential that you get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately, as they can help you make a plan to get your loved one into a safe place and take action against the facility. These actions can also help prevent further abuse against other residents, meaning that you’ll be making a major impact on the lives of many through your brave decision to pursue damages.

Everyone ages differently, which means that there is a facility that is right for everyone; whether your loved one has dementia or just has a bit of trouble getting around, you can find a nursing home that will accommodate their particular needs. However, everyone, no matter their condition, has the right to live in safety, which is why it’s important that you understand your right to take action against facilities that would harm your elderly relative.

Read Next: Addressing Elderly Abuse In Chicago Nursing Homes

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