CHICAGO, IL – Choosing the right nursing home for your loved one’s needs can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Nursing home facilities offer around-the-clock care, provide 3 meals a day and often provide rehabilitation services. Here are a few things to consider when looking to place your loved one in the best nursing home suited for them.
First and foremost, nursing homes are struggling nationwide over staffing shortages. Nurses are required to work longer hours while being significantly understaffed. The first thing you should consider is the staffing to resident ratio. Are nursing home staff members friendly, caring and empathetic towards your loved one? You should inquire how long staff has been employed by the facility, as well as turnover to provide insight into the quality of the nursing home.
Observe the environment
During your tour of the nursing home, make sure to mentally note what you’re observing. It’s important that the environment is hazard-free including proper lighting, handrails, etc. so your loved one doesn’t injury themselves. Are rooms and common places clean? Do residents’ look well-groomed? These are all things you should take into consideration.
Ask about activities
You don’t want your loved one to be couped up in their room all day. Make sure to ask the nursing home about what activities are available. Will your loved one be able to participate in activities safely? Make sure to ask if residents are friends with each other or make a mental note of this. It’s important that your loved one feels a sense of community.
If it’s possible, you should find a facility that’s close to home to make visiting your loved one more comfortable. Regular visits from family members are crucial to ensure that they’re living in an environment that is safe and free of neglect or abuse.
Make a second visit
Try to make an unscheduled visit to the nursing home facility. Nursing home staff ensures they’re putting their best foot forward when taking you on a tour of the facility. While you may not get a tour, the facility should still be operating smoothly.