It can be a challenge to convince an elderly parent to move into a nursing home, but it can be just as difficult to know how to choose the right facility for them. The process of picking a home for your parent will involve visiting various facilities in your area, but you will have to know how to evaluate them.
This guide can help you choose the nursing home that will provide the best quality of care for your parent.
Research the Staff
The staff of the nursing home is an important factor to consider in the wake of rising incidences of abused or neglected nursing home residents across the country. Understaffed facilities or staff members with a history of abuse suggest the residents in that facility won’t receive proper care.
In addition to making sure each staff member was vetted before being hired, you should also check to make sure a licensed nurse is always on duty. There should also be a registered nurse on staff for eight hours a day or more. Finally, check the employee turnover rate for the facility. A high turnover rate suggests an overworked staff and unfavorable working conditions [source].
Observe How the Staff Interacts With Residents
During your tour, pay attention to how the staff interacts with residents and how residents behave in the presence of the staff members. Staff should be calling residents by their first names without using disrespectful nicknames.
They should also knock on the doors of residential rooms as opposed to simply walking into a resident’s room without any regard for their privacy. If the residents seem to become quiet or withdrawn when a staff member approaches, this suggests the residents fear the staff.
Look for Signs of Neglect
In a nursing home that neglects its residents, the upkeep of the facility may also suffer from the same neglect. Look for loose safety railings, missing light switch panels, water damage on the ceilings, and other areas where repair is needed.
While a single loose doorknob may not be much cause for concern, a large number of damaged items suggests the facility isn’t properly maintained. Regardless of what the staff may want you to think, moving your elderly parent into this type of facility will lead to them suffering from neglect as well.
Inquire About Daily Activities
While residents in the nursing home should have some free time, there should also be scheduled activities that provide opportunities for socialization, exercise, and fun. This may involve walks around the property, golf games, or other outdoor activities. The facility may also receive visits from volunteers who come to keep the residents’ company.
Keeping residents active is essential for their physical and cognitive health, so you’ll want to choose a facility that provides plenty of activities for your senior parent.
Try To Arrive During Meal Time
It’s a good idea to schedule your nursing home tour of a nursing home to coincide with lunch or dinner. This provides you to see an example of the types of meals the facility serves to its residents. Meals should be nutritious and appetizing to ensure residents are living on a healthy diet consistently. Nutrition is important for older adults, particularly those with special dietary needs, so the quality of meals is an important issue to address.
When you take the time to help your senior parent choose a good nursing home, you can rest easy knowing they will be in good hands. While you should still be vigilant in ensuring your parent is receiving proper care, choosing a good facility will help you feel better when you can’t be there in person to care for your loved one.