Choosing the right nursing home for your loved one to live in takes time and consideration as many things must be assessed. Aside from taking into account past inspection reports as well as the quality of staff that is employed at the home, you must also assess the physical condition of all areas of the home that your loved one is going to be exposed to. The fact is, a nursing home facility must be set up in a way that promotes safety and cleanliness and decreases the chances of an accident happening.
Note: Elderly individuals tend to have weaker immune systems and are prone to falling so you need to be sure the home you choose won’t put them at risk of becoming ill or injuring themselves.
Physical Conditions You Should Assess When Choosing a Nursing Home for a Relative
Although the physical condition of the nursing home isn’t the only thing to consider when selecting a nursing home for a relative, it is a very important part of the process. Therefore, below we are outlining for you some physical considerations we’d like you to take into account if you are planning on moving a loved one into a nursing home in Chicago, IL or looking to relocate a relative into a new facility.
- Does the facility emphasize accident prevention? The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) says that the facility should eliminate hazards that could lead to a mishap occurring. For example, “all areas should be clear of small low objects that can cause a person to trip” and “there should be no throw rugs or small areas rugs” present where residents walk. The facility should also use chairs that are sturdy and cannot tip over easily as well as have handrails present in the hallways and bathrooms so that the residents have something to grab hold of should they need it.
- The IDPH says that each of the bedrooms in a nursing home should open up to a corridor and have a window. There shouldn’t be more than four beds in a room and the area should be easily accessible. Some other things residents should have in their room include:
- A nurse call bell
- Reading light
- Closet space and drawers to store personal belongings
Tip: If you do not feel comfortable with having your loved one room with someone else, you can request that they have their own room. While some facilities may accommodate this request, others may not have the space to do so. Nursing homes should consider the special interests and personalities of any two residents before putting them into the same room as you wouldn’t want any conflicts to arise.
- Fire safety. The facility you are considering should be complying with the State of Illinois’ fire safety codes. The IDPH suggests that you request to see when the facility last had a fire inspection completed to ensure it is up to date with inspections. You will also want to choose a facility that has clearly labeled its exits and has a plan in place in the event an emergency arises.
Tip: Ask the facility director or another person in charge about fire drills. The IDPH says “a good home puts residents through frequent fire drills to acquaint them with the quickest way to leave the building wherever they may be at the moment.”
- The kitchen should be separated into areas. For example, the IDPH says that food preparation, garbage, and dishwashing areas should be separated from one another and any food that needs refrigeration shouldn’t be left out on the countertops. You’ll also want to check the area for cleanliness as you wouldn’t want your mom or dad’s food prepared or stored in an unsanitary place.
- Isolation rooms. The facility should be equipped with an isolation room that can be used for a resident to stay in who has caught a contagious disease.
- The hallways must be large enough for at least two wheelchairs to pass through with ease. There should also be handgrip railings on either side of the hallway for residents just as a precaution.
- Dining rooms. The dining room should be set up in a way that is “attractive and inviting.” The chairs should be comfortable for the residents and the area should be accommodating to wheelchairs.
To read about the other physical considerations you should take into account when choosing a nursing home, visit the IDPH’s website by clicking here.
Before you settle on a single nursing home in Chicago, be sure to request a tour so you are able to assess the facility’s physical conditions mentioned above. If you are relocating a loved one who happened to have been mistreated at the previous facility they resided in, contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. to speak with a Chicago, IL nursing home abuse attorney. We will not only help you find a new home for your relative to live in but we can also help you to take the necessary steps to hold the other facility liable for your loved one’s pain and suffering.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601