Choosing a Nursing Home

Choosing a nursing home can be a difficult and stressful process. The decision to place a loved one under the care of a nursing home facility can lead to anxiety and feelings of guilt. Especially when there are bad nursing homes out there that fail to provide adequate care. It is a sad fact that there are nursing homes out there that place profit as a priority higher than the health and safety of their residents. The most important thing to remember is that nursing homes are profit producing businesses. Fancy brochures and attractive furnishings serve as advertising schemes. When choosing a nursing home, it is important to remain as objective as possible. You are seeking a nursing home that will provide the best possible care for your loved one. Choosing the right nursing home should not be a rushed or quick decision. The following is a list of strategies that you can use to get the most out of your investigations of each nursing home.

When previewing a nursing home:

Visit and engage in conversation with some of the residents.

Nursing home administrators and staff are a part of a company that wants your business. The information you receive from them is subjective. By finding at least one resident to visit with and talk to, you can learn a lot about the quality of care the home provides to its patients. An observant visitor can ascertain a lot of information simply by engaging in conversation with the patients in a nursing home. You can make sure to notice how well groomed they appear, and if they appear to have good hygiene. Knowing what to look for, you can be on the lookout for evidence of malnutrition, dehydration, and other forms of neglect. You should also visit residents with different levels of mobility and independence to see whether or not all residents are given the same quality of care. Through these visits, you can also see if residents have a positive attitude about their life in the nursing home. If a nursing home is hesitant or unwilling to allow you the freedom to visit with residents, then you may wish to move on and look at other nursing homes.

Visit at random times during the day

If you only inspect a nursing home during scheduled visits, then you only saw the facility during the times when they were expecting you. It is wise to visit a nursing home at different times during the day, to get an idea of how the quantity and quality of care fluctuates throughout the day. A nursing home is providing care 24 hours a day. In that time, at least three shifts of caregivers come and go. If the nursing home is understaffed at any point during the day, then the patients are placed at a higher risk of abuse and neglect from a stressed and overworked staff.

Visit during meal times

The busiest and most stressful times for a nursing home staff are usually during mealtimes. By visiting a nursing home during dinner, one could assess much more than the quality of the food. You could see how much time residents are given to eat. You could watch the CNA’s as they feed the bedridden and immobile patients. You watch to see if the staff appears rushed and whether or not they allow that to affect the quality of the care that they provide. Are they rushing the patients to finish their meal in a hurry? Do all of the patients appear to be well nourished? Does the nursing home appear to be understaffed? These are questions you should ask yourself during a mealtime visit.

Take your time

The most important thing to remember is that this is a big decision and one that should not be rushed. Trust your instincts, especially if a particular nursing home gives you a bad or suspicious feeling. Take advantage of the advice and counsel of people you know and trust. Involve your family doctor in this decision. Avoid nursing homes that require you to change doctors. Also, you should avoid nursing homes that are not willing to work with Medicaid. There are quality nursing homes out there. By taking your time and the appropriate investigative measures, you can take comfort in your decision to place your loved one in the care of a quality nursing home facility.