Making the decision to get long-term care for a loved one is a difficult decision. If your family member is neglecting personal and home care, or having difficulty getting around, you might need to consider other alternatives.
Sometimes these other alternatives include placing a loved one in a nursing home. If this is your situation, you want to make sure you find the best nursing homes to choose from.
This is a stressful time for you and your loved one. You want to make sure you pick a place that will give them the best care. To do this, you need to know what questions to ask yourself and nursing home staff.
What to Ask to Find the Best Nursing Homes
To find a nursing home that will meet the needs of your loved one, you need to know what to look for. It’s important to visit the nursing homes and do a thorough evaluation of their practices and reputation.
You can put together a checklist to help you evaluate each place you visit so you can make an informed decision. This checklist may look a little different for each person, but there are some good questions you can start with.
1. Are There Good Nursing Homes Near Me?
Location is an important consideration when choosing a nursing home. You want to find a place that’s close enough for you or other family members to visit regularly. You want to check on them regularly to make sure they don’t get lonely.
You also want to check regularly to make sure their needs are met. This means you want to consider the commute in relation to your schedule. You should look for a place that offers ease of accessibility.
2. Do They Maintain Cleanliness?
The cleanliness of the facility is important for comfort and safety. This is especially important as you deal with residents that are incontinent.
Nursing homes will have certain smells that are normal for these facilities. If you sense a strong urine smell though, this is an indication they’re not cleaning regularly.
Check out the rooms, the common areas, and the residents themselves. Make sure the facility is maintaining a clean atmosphere for the rooms. Make sure they also take care of residents clothes and personal hygiene.
3. What Do The Meals Look Like?
As people age, they often lose their appetite. This doesn’t mean their meals can’t have appeal.
Take time to check out their meal times. Does the food look appetizing? Do they have variety?
You should also make sure they pay attention to special diets. Make sure they have methods in place to make sure residents medical restrictions are met while still providing pleasant food.
4. Does the Nursing Home Have Adequate Staff?
Understaffing is a huge contributor to resident neglect and abuse. You can learn more about the connection, but you want to make sure there is enough staff to take care of the residents.
The best way to do this is to ask staff members about overtime and double shifts. If this is a regular occurrence, it’s a good indication the facility does not have enough staff.
5. How Well Are Personal Care Needs Met?
52% of people aged 65 and over will need long-term care. Many of these people need the care because they are unable to take care of their own personal needs. This is why it’s important to make sure the nursing home is meeting these needs.
Make sure the residents are groomed, washed, and kept in clean clothes. Also, make sure incontinent residents are changed regularly.
6. How Does the Staff Speak to the Residents?
If you’re placing a loved one in a nursing home, you want to make sure they’re treated with dignity and respect. When checking out nursing homes, pay attention to how the staff speak to the residents they deal with.
Make sure they’re addressing any needs and concerns. Also, make sure they address the residents in a respectful manner and calling them by respectful names.
7. How Does the Staff Speak to Each Other?
You can also get an idea of how the staff treats the residents by observing how they speak to each other. For instance, if they’re rude to each other they’re more likely to speak rudely to residents.
You should also pay attention to how much time is spent gossiping with each other between duties. If they congregate too often to gossip, there’s a good chance residents are neglected.
8. What Activities and Entertainment Are Available?
A good nursing home will make sure the residents have activities available. They will also make sure the entertainment provided, such as music and television, is for the residents primarily.
Make sure residents have opportunities to spend time out of their rooms. For those that can’t leave their rooms, make sure activities are still provided for them.
9. How do They Handle Accidents?
As people age their skin and bones become more fragile. This means it’s important to pay attention to bruising and injuries, especially if they fall.
You want to make sure they respond immediately to a fall. Pay attention to how they record falls and how they let family members know. Also make sure they check residents immediately and a couple hours later to ensure no serious injury occurs.
10. What is The Public Reputation?
You want to make sure the nursing home has a good reputation with residents, family members, and people in the community. Check for testimonials and ask for references from nursing home staff.
There are horror stories out there of abuse and neglect in nursing homes. This is why it’s so important to talk to people who have dealt with the facility. Make sure the nursing home is known for good care.
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