Choosing a nursing home is a big decision. When it’s someone you love and care about, you want them to be in the best environment possible. You want quality care that will help them to have the best clinical outcomes.
So what do you look for when you visit? Here are some tips on how to choose nursing care facilities in your area.
First, you want to see how many licensed nurses are available throughout a given day. Consider the ratio of patients to staff, and how big the average nurse’s workload seems to be. Look for whether they have the staff to supervise activities. Do they have exercise programs for residents?
Watch nursing calls and see how staffers respond. Staffing is a very important part of managing a nursing home. It’s one of the things you should look for first when you’re on a tour of a property.
The best nursing homes put a lot of thought into facility planning. They do good maintenance to keep residents safe. Check whether stairs and hallways are well lighted and whether exits are well marked. Look for sprinklers for fire safety systems in various parts of the building. Ask about whether an emergency generator backup power source is available
Safety is key. Sanitation is also a big issue. Look at how well staff members support residents. Look at how leadership makes the building an attractive atmosphere rather than a depressing dump.
Resident and family rights
The best nursing homes also have resources. They have liaisons to help residents and their families feel like they have a voice in the system.
Homes might post resident’s rights.
They have protocols that promote being respectful when entering a room. They take care transporting patients.
Look for whether residents seem to have freedom and choice. You want them to have “agency” within the nursing home environment. You may also want to ask about policies like Medicare and Medicaid certification. What about waiting list periods? Ask about visiting hours and visiting policies.
Another important policy is discharge policy. Ask about whether a resident can temporarily ‘check out’ to go visit family members. Figure out if there are resources such as a wheelchair van available.
These are part of the nursing home checklist that you should always use. What you see when touring these types of care facilities matters. The law firm of Steve Watrel helps families to look at a potential nursing home abuse or neglect case. We know how important it is for seniors to enjoy positive and safe nursing care. Let us help you to move forward with concerns that you have about a nursing home environment.