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What new services should I look for in a nursing home?

Many people do not find it easy to choose a nursing home for an elderly parent. Naturally, you will want to check any nursing home to make sure it accommodates your parent and provides a safe and caring environment. With the rise of new technologies and services, there are ways homes can improve care and avoid abuse of residents.

Forbes explains some recent developments in nursing home care. Consider keeping these in mind as you vet nursing homes for your parent.

Telecommunications

Relatives have not had an easy time in the past year getting into a nursing home to see an elderly parent. As a result, many seniors have suffered from isolation and loneliness. You probably have thought of asking whether a nursing home has a phone line or gives its residents a cell phone so you can talk with your parent when you are not on the premises.

However, modern teleconferencing technology allows people to talk to each other through a video transmission. So you can not only talk to your parent but see him or her while you converse. Common examples of video conferencing software include FaceTime, Skype and Zoom. You might ask if a nursing home has laptops or tablets that help facilitate this kind of communication.

Telehealth

Your parent will likely need doctor’s visits, medicines or different kinds of therapy. However, your parent might not want to venture out for fear of contracting disease. Telehealth services help bring medical care and assistance to seniors who live in their homes. A nearby nursing home may have these services as well, allowing residents to stay in the home without leaving for medical care.

Medicare and Medicaid cover many telehealth services. The good news is that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has recently expanded the range of coverage to include nursing home telehealth services. So it is worth asking a nursing home staff if they include telehealth as part of their care.

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