Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is one of the most emotional and stressful decisions a family will ever face. With so many nursing homes out there and all of the stories we have heard about under-staffing, sub-standard care and neglect, how does one make an informed decision? I recently came across an article that offers some really good advice on selecting a nursing home that I hope will help make this decision a little easier.
First, visit the facilities you are considering. Go often and unannounced. Visit at different times during the day such as mealtimes and activities. This will allow you to get a good idea of how the needs of the residents are addressed in different situations.
The article also suggests to pay close attention to what your sense of sight and smell are telling you when you visit. Is the facility clean? Are the hallways clear and safe or crowded? Does it smell clean? If you notice foul odors from feces or urine, chances are residents are not being tended to quickly enough and it could be a sign of neglect.
Check for resident call bells that go unanswered; that is a major red flag. Also, talk to the staff. Do they seem friendly and helpful? Are they willing to answer your questions? Are they attentive to the residents?
Hopefully, these tips will assist you in making a more informed decision about a nursing home.