WITH a wide range of excellent nursing homes available throughout the county, the major step of finding the right centre for one's parent should come relatively pain-free for Cork people.
Now, with the Fair Deal support scheme from the State, it has never been a better time to negotiate the often emotional job of choosing the right place for a parent or sibling.
With such an emotional charge inherent in the task, it is vital that one plans ahead and there are several key things one should investigate further the better to inform any decision.
Thankfully, in this county with such a superb range of homes the task is more one of geography and need.
Among the first things one should do is find a full list of nursing homes in one's area, available on the website of Nursing Homes Ireland, the representative organisation for the private and voluntary nursing homes sector, www.nhi.com.
Find out about the nursing homes that pique one's interest and compare how the quality appears.
Then, one should visit the home to get a much fuller understanding for the entire atmosphere of the centre.
This is probably the most important step of all, as a personal visit is the only way to get a real picture of how a home operates.
Most importantly, make an appointment with the manager for a tour of the facilities and go out of your way to meet other staff to get a feel for the kind of personal touch they bring to their work.
It is a matter then of choosing the nursing home that best meets one's needs and the needs of one's loved one.
Some of the key questions the NHI recommends to consider are is the nursing home registered with HIQA (Health Information and Quality Authority); is there a bed available (is there a waiting list?); do you know anyone already resident and, if so, are they happy with the care they receive?; is the nursing home easy to visit?; does it have a happy, homely atmosphere?