The American population is expected to hit the maximum number of older adults in the coming years. It led to an increased demand for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Nearly 75% of elders of 65 or above age will rely on nursing homes for their care by 2030 in the United States.
Nursing homes provide safety and care to elders who are struggling to meet their needs due to aging effects and other health complications. Meanwhile, family and loved ones face challenges looking after elders who need constant medical attention with their tight schedules and other responsibilities. Nursing homes are good options to consider in this situation. However, choosing a nursing home for your loved one is a challenging task. You have to pay attention to several factors while deciding on a nursing home.
Here are the six things you should look out for when picking a nursing home.
1. Well-Trained Staff
Nursing home staff are the face of the facility; whether you reach the facility via phone call or physical visit, the staff is the first point of contact. You can get an idea about the quality standard of the nursing home while interacting with the staff. You cannot trust your loved one with inexperienced and untrained workers, as it can result in nursing home abuse and neglect. Many nursing home employees are involved in the abuse of residents. So make sure the nursing home team is well qualified and well trained to understand and handle the special needs of the residents. You can ask about the qualification, experience, and training of the nursing staff.
2. Cleaned And Well-Managed Nursing Home
A nursing home is not a place where you can expect clutter and bad odor. The first thing that you should notice about a nursing home is how clean and pleasant it appears. A neat and clean atmosphere is a crucial factor in improving the overall well-being of older adults. While visiting a nursing facility, check not only the reception area but request a complete tour to evaluate the cleanliness of rooms, lobby, and other areas. A place may appear super chic and clean on the internet, so make sure to visit it to see what it looks like in real life before admitting the prospective resident.
3. Available Facilities
Every nursing home claims to offer various facilities, from the personal hygiene of residents to medical care. If your loved one needs special facilities like mental health treatments, special care units, or other medical equipment, make sure to check with the nursing home. For instance, activities like dance, painting, and yoga can prove beneficial for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Check the availability of art activities in the nursing home. Compiling a list of things that your loved one might require in a nursing home is a good starting point. Tick mark the facilities that you find during your visit to the nursing home. It would help you to provide a high level of care to your loved one.
4. Access To Care
Every person who is going to move into a nursing home deals with different health conditions and requires different levels of care. Some residents may move around easily, while others have to rely on assistance for walking and sitting. While visiting a facility, check if the building is designed to meet the needs of the residents who are handicapped or experience any kind of disability. For instance, you can notice handrails, stairs, and other supporting things that can ease such residents.
5. Condition Of Residents
Before going to a nursing facility, collect as much information as you can from online resources such as websites. It will make your visit more productive, and you will focus on every detail that directly or indirectly impacts the well-being of the residents. You can watch out for warning signs in current residents. Pay close attention to their clothes; are they appropriately dressed according to the season? Observe their general appearance like are they well-cleaned? Notice every detail from head to toe, including cleaning of hair and teeth and trimming of nails. A careful and detailed look at a nursing home facility can reveal important details about it based on which you can expect to receive high-quality care.
6. Compliance With Regulations And Quality Standards
Regulatory authorities inspect and monitor all nursing homes regularly to maintain quality standards. Nursing homes must comply with regulations and meet quality standards to get certified. The nursing home must display the findings of inspection by state or federal authorities for clients. You can read reports to find out how well the facility meets health and safety standards. The inspection score of each registered nursing home facility is available online. You can check the inspection results ahead of your visit to make a sound decision. Some nursing homes may struggle with inspection scores in areas such as inflexible visiting hours, safety measures, etc. You need to be careful in this case and ask the relevant staff if they have improved in these areas.
Keep in mind that one visit is not enough to notice and check the nursing home care and services. You must visit a nursing home at least a second time to observe any change in the quality of care and residents’ condition. The best way to do this is to visit the nursing home on different days and at different times. You may get a chance to interact with different staff members and residents during your second visit and get more details about the facility.
From access to quality care to well-trained staff to ample facilities to regulation compliance, everything counts for choosing the best nursing home. Nursing home abuse and neglect is the reality that you need to accept before admitting your elderly loved one to this facility. However, you can stay vigilant and closely monitor the red flags while picking a suitable option for your loved one. In extreme cases, you can consider legal assistance and hold the nursing home accountable for their wrongdoings and ill practices.