There a number of things that people consider when looking to find a nursing home for their loved one, but most do not have a solid idea of the qualities that make up a great nursing home. Some people focus on the staff, while others focus on the living conditions in the nursing home to ensure that it is clean and safe for the residents. However anyone doing research on potential nursing homes for their loved one should take a more holistic approach to determine which facility is best. In order to make this process a bit easier, we have provided information below on the qualities that make a great nursing home and things that you should consider when conducting your search.
One of the first things to note when reviewing nursing homes is the overall well-being and happiness of the residents at the facility. Determine if they seem to be alert and happy, and see if they look to be clean dressed and properly groomed. If the residents do not look happy and well taken care of, then it may not be the right nursing home for your loved one. Additionally one should review the shared living space to ensure that it is clean, well lit, quiet, and set to a comfortable temperature for the residents. Another thing to note in the shared living area is the cleanliness of the hallways and doorways, as any obstacles in the way could be dangerous for a senior who is trying to move about in the nursing home. A great nursing home needs to be safe and do all it can to protect residents from getting injured.
There are other qualities to review when looking for a great nursing home for your loved one, like the food and menus offered at the facility. Not only do residents need a clean dining room to eat in, but they also need to have a choice of food items at each meal. Additionally, residents should be offered a menu which rotates, so that they have variety of the food in which they eat. Great nursing homes should also have the staff on hand to help residents as needed to drink or eat food. On top of good food, there should also be fun activities at the nursing home for residents to participate. This should include activities inside, outside, and in the community which are social, physical and educational. Some examples of activities that nursing home residents can participate in include taking classes, exercise, movie nights, games, and more.
Residents’ rooms are another area which you should review if you are searching for a nursing home for a loved one. Great nursing homes make sure that residents’ rooms are clean and have adequate storage. They also ensure that the rooms have nice windows to allow in light, and give seniors a way to look outside. When viewing a room, check to see that residents have beds that are set low to the ground, because this makes it easier for them to get in and also prevents falling. In addition to clean rooms, you should also pay close attention to the staff, as they can be key to making a nursing home shine. Nursing home staff should be well groomed with name tags, and have a respectful attitude towards each other and the residents. Staff should also have underwent a background check, to ensure that they do not have anything in their past that would prevent them from working with seniors. The staff should also include a full time Registered Nurse (RN) who is in the nursing home facility at all times. Additionally residents should have the same caregiver most of the time, as the caregiver can provide better help because they build a relationship with the resident. The last thing to look for in the staff of a great nursing home is that there is a licensed doctor on staff who visits regularly, and who can be reached at all times.
If the nursing home you’re reviewing is open, honest, and welcomes friends and family to visit, plus meets the criteria above, then you have likely found a great nursing home for your loved one.
About the Author: Ellen Geotz is a regular author for Guide to Nursing Homes, a website dedicated to helping seniors and their loved ones find nursing homes for retirement living. Ellen grew up on the east coast and spent 10 years working in senior homes during her 20’s and 30’s before taking a break to raise her 3 children. Now that her children are in college, Ellen uses her knowledge of senior care to help her write about all of the latest industry news.