Many of us reach the point when our aging loved ones rely on us to make decisions about their health and happiness. If your parent, spouse, or other relative can no longer live independently, it may fall to you to choose the right nursing home for her needs and to advocate for her throughout her time there. Things to consider when choosing a nursing home for your loved one include:
1) High satisfaction survey scores
As a part of Ohio’s Long-term Care Quality Initiative, nursing homes participate in the Ohio Resident Satisfaction Survey and the Ohio Family Satisfaction Survey, both conducted annually by the Ohio Department of Aging. These surveys allow you inside access to how satisfied other families are with a facility. You can review these scores online, or ask the facility to show you its latest state survey results.
2) Attentive, well-trained staff
More than amenities or activities, a nursing’s home staff matters when it comes to ensuring nursing home residents have a high quality of life. Look for staff who seem to have relationships with each resident and take interest in what they have to say. Watch for rushed, stressed staff, which may be a sign of understaffing. Ask about training and experience among staff members, as well. How are they trained for emergency situations?
3) Happy, active residents
The best nursing homes encourage resident interaction; you can often see them talking, watching TV or playing games in common areas. The quality of life offered by this type of environment is typically much better than in a facility where residents spend 24 hours a day in their room. One of the best ways to get a feel for the social environment is to go during lunch. Visiting during a meal will let you see interaction between residents and even give you a chance to taste the facility’s food.
4) A clean, well-managed facility
Cleanliness is not only important for the health of your loved one, but important for her happiness as well. A clean, well-managed nursing home smells fresh, and the effort put forth is evident. Common areas, resident areas, and bathrooms should all be free from dust and grime. The bathroom grab bars should be well-secured, and the facility should appear well-maintained.
Do not forget to ask about regular housekeeping for your loved one’s room, how to manage maintenance requests, and how residents contact staff in an emergency. Also ask about building security and if there are secure outdoor areas that residents can visit.
5) The services and activities your loved one wants and needs
Depending on her health needs, your loved one may need rehabilitation or physical therapy. A nursing home that offers these therapies will better meet her needs than one that requires her to go elsewhere for appointments. Other health-related concerns may be special wards for patients with dementia or amenities that assist seniors with mobility concerns. Scheduled activities on site give residents a chance to interact, but you may want to consider if your loved one can continue any existing hobbies once they move.
About Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A.
If you have questions or concerns about the care your loved one is receiving, an elder abuse attorney from Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. can help. We represent the victims of all types of nursing home abuse in Toledo, Ohio, to ensure they get the compensation they deserve, and that other seniors do not have to undergo the same painful abuse. Contact us today at 419-843-6663 to learn more.