A nursing home may be needed for a short-term stay due to an injury, illness, or disease progression. It can also be a necessary step in a long-term care plan.
Families should collect qualitative advice when evaluating nursing homes, such as information from relatives, friends, local senior groups, and ombudsperson programs. Families should also visit facilities and talk with staff members.
In a nursing home, location is important for many reasons. Depending on a loved one’s medical condition, finding a home close to family and friends is best. Frequent visits from trusted loved ones can help to speed up a resident’s recovery.
It is also important to consider whether the home is near a hospital. Some older adults may need to be transferred from the nursing home, Florida, to a hospital due to a health event or complications.
Ask friends and family for recommendations on nursing homes. Online resources for ranking nursing homes can also be helpful. When visiting facilities under consideration, be sure to take a tour and observe the quality of staff interaction with residents. Pay special attention to the number of staff and patient ratio.
Nursing homes provide the most comprehensive care when a loved one requires round-the-clock medical care that cannot be provided at home or in an assisted living facility. Nursing homes typically feature doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who assist seniors with daily non-medical activities like bathing and dressing and can administer medication regimens as needed.
During your nursing home tour, pay attention to details that may seem minor but can make all the difference in a senior’s quality of life. For example, ask how rooms are configured. Are they spacious enough to allow wheelchair mobility?
Also, look for other amenities, such as dining options. Many nursing homes have on-site restaurants, while others may serve meals in residents’ rooms or communal dining areas.
Food is an institutional activity in nursing homes that is tightly organized and structured by rules. Residents develop strategies to navigate these structures, even though they may chafe against them.
Nursing homes are experimenting with new ways to improve the quality of food and mealtime experience. For example, family-style dining allows residents to sit around a table and eat together, promoting community amongst older individuals.
Some facilities are also offering meals that reflect religious and cultural food preferences. Others are allowing residents to bring in food from home. Additionally, the latest CMS regulations require menus to be checked and approved by a registered dietitian. This is an important step toward improving dietary standards in nursing homes. Ideally, the food offered at a facility should be delicious and nutritious.
Many older adults do not want to move into a nursing home, but it may be necessary when their needs exceed what an assisted living facility or home setting can provide. Visiting a nursing home is one of the best ways to determine if it is the right fit for someone you love.
Tour the facility and look for clean hallways, bathrooms, kitchens, and residents’ rooms. See the latest inspection reports and compare these with state and national averages.
Also, consider whether the nursing home offers cognitive activities, as these stimulate the brain and improve memory retrieval. Also, look for opportunities to socialize with other residents. Social connections are critical for emotional health and happiness. A lack of these can lead to depression and isolation.
When visiting a nursing home, closely examine the staff and residents. Are they clean and well-groomed? Do they respond quickly to call lights and beckoning? Do the communal areas feel safe and inviting? Do staff members know residents by name and treat them as individuals?
Ask about the turnover rate among licensed nurses and administrative staff. High turnover can indicate that the nursing home needs to provide a better environment for employees.
If you are looking at homes that provide care for a particular condition, discover their experience with your loved one’s specific needs. Your doctor, social worker, or hospital discharge planner may be able to recommend facilities with experience with your family member’s condition. Also, search for nursing home ranking sites that utilize state survey data online.