If you’re considering nursing home care for a loved one, it’s important you choose wisely. While you expect a facility to offer quality care to residents, this is unfortunately not always the case. Asking the right questions is crucial in this case, and AARP recommends the following when reviewing prospective facilities.
Staff must clean a nursing home thoroughly to ensure the facility remains sanitary. You can often judge the level of cleanliness by how the home smells as you’re taking a tour. Stale smells or the strong odor of urine indicates that the staff isn’t keeping up on their cleaning duties. This issue can be caused by a lack of staff or as a result of a staff that is spread too thin based on the number of residents.
This is another important question to ask while you’re on a visit to a potential home. The director should be able to tell you the ratio of patients to staff, and this number should be sufficient in terms of meeting patient needs. Not only will an overworked staff be less likely to provide quality care, they may also react to demands in an unreasonable way. This can lead to serious issues with abuse or neglect that may gravely harm residents.
You’ll also want to discuss how the home handles falls. While falls are quite common among the elderly, staff should have the proper measures in place to prevent them whenever possible. For those with compromised mobility, help with getting into and out of bed, using the bathroom, and other tasks must be readily available. When a fall does occur, medical care providers should check for injuries and provided care as necessary. The family of the resident should also be informed about the issue, even if no major injury occurs.