The Six-Part Recipe for Finding a Nursing Home for your Parents

More than 1.5 million Americans live in nursing homes, a number that will double by 2030. According to U.S. News & World Report, here are some tips to help aging parents find suitable nursing care.

1. Deterime the actual need of a nursing home.

Local organizations can assist parents to remain at home. Meals on Wheels can ensure that your father is well-nourished. An adult-daycare center can help your mother socialize and fight back depression.

2. Arrange an evaluation if you feel your parent can no longer live at home.

Geriatricians are ideal. They are medical doctors with a specialization in treating older people. Another option is mom or dad's primary care physician, in the event that a geriatrics specialist is unavailable in your area.

3. Seek out community help.

AARP recommends the Area Agency on Aging for a list of local services, including volunteer groups to organize rides for older people for doctors' appointments, and for a comprehensive list of businesses that render in-home nursing care and assisted-living facilities.

4. Hire a professional nursing care provider.

Hiring a personal assistant is an option, if you can afford it. Personal care managers can keep adult children informed about their parents' status and needed services when they live apart. Geriatric care managers can help out people at a loss for good services for an aging loved one. The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers Web site is a valuable web site.

5. Distance is the Number One Priority

Nursing home providers and experts agree that distance is the primary indicator for aged mothers and fathers. Adult children in close proximity, who can visit parents regularly, create a relationship that reduces depression for the elderly and keeps their children in the know.

6. Contact an advocate.

Every state empowers a long-term care ombudsman who follows up on complaints made about specific nursing homes. An ombudsman is knowledgeable about facilities, how they may have made improvement or attracted complaints. Ombudsmans look for transparency from nursing homes to share sensitive information. Older children can gather valuable information about the safety and quality of nursing home care from such advocates.