Company News

5 Things to Look For When Selecting a Nursing Home

February 26, 2018

Ronna Edelstein had a problem. Her father, Morton, was in his 90s, and fast approaching the time where he would need to be placed in a nursing home.

He had, however, made her promise years before not to “dump” him in such a place. He had visited friends there, and almost always came away depressed. She shared his concern; no way did she want him spending his final years in some sterile institution.

She was forced to reverse course six weeks after he turned 98. Caring for him by herself had become overwhelming, and his behavior had grown erratic.

She found a facility for him that she described as pleasant. The staff was friendly, the place clean and bright.

While she would later have to withdraw him amid growing financial concerns, her initial decision is far from an uncommon one. With Baby Boomers aging, they and their families are faced with the difficult choice of whether to enter into a long-term care facility, and where best to do so.

Some 1.3 million Americans currently reside in nursing homes, a number that is on the rise; by 2030, roughly 20 percent of the nation’s population will be 65 or older. It’s more important than ever for nursing homes to provide the adequate support and quality of care these seniors need, and it is The Allure Group’s mission to offer just that with our state-of-the-art facilities.

When faced with this situation, it bears asking: What are the factors one should consider when deciding on a nursing home? Here are five we recommend you prioritize:

1. Location, location, location: While most would prefer a facility that is close to friends and family members, there are often cases where better nursing homes are farther away, putting families in a tough spot: Do I want my loved one closer at hand, or do I want him or her in a place that provides superior care? U.S. News and World Report cited a 2017 study showing that lower-income neighborhoods in 350 cities generally were the sites of facilities that provided inferior care, and that care of any type was difficult to find in rural areas. This is not, however, a concern for New Yorkers considering The Allure Group, as there are six facilities throughout the city.

2. Thy staff, they comfort me: Ronna Edelstein thought it significant that staffers in the facility in which she placed her dad referred to him by name — that there was a personal touch, as opposed to a tendency to label patients as “the Alzheimer’s patient in 214,” etc. Beyond the staff/resident ratio or the credentials of those on hand, examining the way in which the staff interacts with residents (not to mention each other) is critical to deciding on a place — and it is best to visit a place at least twice before making a choice, at least once during “off” hours, to get a true feel of things. Again, The Allure Group passes this test, as it features an amiable staff and concierge service.

3. Behind closed doors: This encompasses the physical plant, and everything about it — the quality of the rooms and the furniture in it, the lighting, the temperature, the noise, even the smell — again, things that will never be issues at an Allure Group facility. Another consideration: Are residents allowed to bring their own furniture? And, perhaps most importantly, how safe is the place?

4. What’s for dinner? Never a bad idea to visit during mealtime, for not only will you learn a great deal about the quality and variety of food. At the Allure Group, for instance, we offer kosher options, a Chinese menu (Hamilton Park) and a Spanish menu (Crown Heights). Other questions to ask: How flexible are mealtimes? Can residents eat a late lunch? An early breakfast?

5. Living the life: When visiting, pay attention to what the residents are up to. If they are just planted in front of the TV, head for the door. The best facilities are those that offer residents a wide variety of activities, as the Allure Group does. There are gyms, libraries and meeting rooms at all our facilities. Also available — Longevity Gardens for our Asian residents, at the Bedford and Hamilton Park facilities. And all of our centers offer palliative care.

At The Allure Group we believe that we meet all five of these needs and more for New York-based seniors, and that doing good is first and foremost how our business can do well. Our locations operate within the communities they serve; our trained staff is often bilingual for patients’ ease; our amenities are state of the art; our meals, varied; and activities plentiful for those in our care.

Many families have chosen The Allure Group for their loved ones and been satisfied by our professionalism, quality, and medical sophistication. We hope you’ll consider us too.