What To Look For In A Nursing Home & Senior Care FacilityOsmondMarketing
Nursing homes, or skilled nursing facilities, provide residents with full-time, 24/7 medical care and assistance. Residents usually live in semi-private rooms and meals are provided. Patients receive therapy and medical attention while recovering from physical and mental conditions. But with high costs of service and the importance of your loved one’s health at stake, how do you choose the right nursing home or senior care facility?
First, always start by matching the patient’s needs to the facility’s specialty. Each nursing home specializes in a different kind of care, ranging from dementia to surgery recovery. If you or loved one needs intensive physical therapy, find a facility focused on providing those services. Distance matters, too. A nursing home close to loved ones means more frequent visits. A facility close to primary care physicians makes check-ups easier.
Every party involved should feel comfortable in a nursing home decision. The patient must feel as comfortable as possible with their recovery. Loved ones should feel welcomed when visiting. Patients and their families must have the ability to get answers to important questions as they come up. A high quality nursing home provides a friendly and available staff, a calming environment, and comfortable rooms. But that’s just the basics. Here are the nitty gritty points to analyze when you make a nursing home choice.
Recovering environs can make or break a patient’s healing. Take noise levels. If announcements are blared over a loudspeaker at all hours of the day, how would one get enough sleep? Great facilities use silent pagers and other devices for notifying residents. Aids and nurses should be respectful about how much noise they make in hallways and patient rooms. The moment you walk into a facility you’ll get a good read on overall noise levels.
Make sure that hallways and common areas are clean, spacious, and well-lit. Are there specific areas designated for visiting? Can patients enjoy safe, tranquil outdoor spaces? The number of beds in a unit can tell you how hectic meal and medication times become. All areas should be accessible and equipped with handrails.
Information about security and visiting hours should be provided upfront and in detail by the nursing home.
One of the most overlooked services to ask about: dining. Ask to see the food menu and the food quality. Ask the staff how the staff handles special dietary needs. Good nutrition and enjoyable food make recovery faster and easier. Ask where meals are served and when.
Personal care is equally important. Do they attend to personal needs like hair care? Find out the facility’s ability to provide transportation to and from doctor’s appointments. Ask about the frequency of laundry services.
Are there planned activities for patients? Do they match the patient’s interests and capabilities? Is the facility facilitating activities beyond just bingo and television. Do they facilitate music, art, memory games, one-on-one activities and other challenging psychological and social stimuli?
Observe the Residents
You can learn a lot about a facility by watching the residents. Try to visit during social gatherings, like meal times. Look to see if patients are happy, dressed appropriately, and engaged with each other and with staff. Are they struggling to move along hallways or are they receiving assistance and care? Do staff members treat them respectfully?
When in doubt, ask a current resident or two how they’re enjoying their stay. If there are families present, as them how they believe their loved one is being treated.
See a Room
Ask to see a room. Find out if rooms are private or semi-private. If the latter, how are residents matched with roommates? Would having a roommate work for your situation, or will the patient need a private room?
Some facilities provide decorations, telephones, and TVs in the room; others allow them but do not provide them. Quality facilities are clean, spacious, and allow residents to make their rooms feel like home. Each resident should have easy access to call buttons from their bed, chair, and bathroom.
Medical and Recovery Services
Make sure the nursing home you consider provides the right rehabilitative care. Get specific about rehab: what type of exercises are used, is therapy in-room or down the hall, how are patients kept motivated and progressing? What are the common progression timelines that patients follow? Find out how staff determines whether a patient is ready to go home.
If you’re checking out facilities for a loved one with cognitive challenges, ask how behavioral problems are handled. Ask how records are kept and how often primary doctors are updated. Ask about the skilled nurses’ training and experience and whether doctors work on site. For long-term patients, does the facility provide vision and hearing screenings?
Know the Staff
Consider the experience, training, and specialization of the staff. Nurses, aides, and doctors should be engaged with and respectful of all patients. Are all credentials in order? What is employee turnover like at the facility? Do staff members have a long history at the facility? In order to provide the best care, staff should not be overworked; ask about the frequency of overtime and double shifts. Does the staff appear to genuinely care about their patients? Ask a nurse or other staff how they like working at the facility.
Someone should be on call at all times. Specialized staff, like rehab nurses, should be available daily. Falls are common in skilled nursing facilities. Ask specifically about out how falls are handled and the protocol for injury after a fall occurs in their facility.
Skilled nursing facilities are not cheap, and costs vary widely by locale. The best facility can’t be an option if you can’t afford it. A semi-private room cost less than a private room and factors into these decisions, but with fees coming from meals, laundry, supervision, administration of medication, and rehab services, fees can add up.
Find out if their billing is easy to understand. Ask about any possible hidden fees or services that cost extra. Work out what Medicare and Medicaid will cover and if any out-of-pocket costs remain after that.
Trust Your Gut
Trust your instincts about a facility. Visit as often as you have to before making a decision. The quality of care you or your loved one receives is vital for recovery. You should feel that the staff has the patient’s best interest in mind at all times. A facility with experienced nurses, caring staff, and pleasant environs can help a patient rehabilitate and get back to everyday life faster.
When Generations began business, it started with a very simple business strategy: focus on quality and service while remaining mindful of the challenges and changes facing older adults in today’s world. In its 17 years in business, Generations has established an excellent reputation in the communities served by our facilities. It is our purpose that whoever enters a Generations home will be met with kindness, competence and compassion. We specialize in hip and knee replacement recovery as well as cardiac and stroke recovery.