Everybody wants to live out their twilight years in peace. If you are looking for a nursing home or any other type of eldercare facility either for yourself or for your loved ones, you will obviously want to make sure that you are choosing the best possible environment available. Though the need may seem urgent sometimes, there is no need to rush such an important decision.
Sue Johansen, a senior living advisor with Seattle-based senior care referral service A Place for Mom, stresses the importance of taking the time to carefully evaluate each nursing home before making a final decision. “Everything unfolds day by day,” says Johansen, “and you’re dealing with new information and ill-equipped [to do so].” In other words, you should not let yourself feel pressured into making such a significant decision. You want to ensure that you are only choosing the best of the best.
There are many different reasons someone may decide to live in a nursing home. You may simply need short-term rehabilitation after an accident. Or you may require round-the-clock, long-term care after suffering a more serious and/or disabling condition, like a stroke or Alzheimer’s disease. Whatever the case may be, you should be on the lookout for some of the defining qualities of a good nursing home. Read on to find out more.
Obviously, every nursing home says they put their residents first. It is one of the most common marketing ploys out there. What is important is to see the “resident first” mentality in action. Susan Reinhard, the senior vice president of AARP’s Public Policy Institute, stresses that it is absolutely critical for any eldercare facility to put a genuine focus on each resident as a unique individual.
This means that no residents should ever feel as though they are being defined by their illness or disabilities. Instead, they should feel as though they are being treated just like anybody else. This is the only way to ensure that they will feel safe and at home—a pretty important thing to feel when you are at your most vulnerable!
“It’s all about the love,” says Barbara Resnick, a nurse practitioner and former president of the American Geriatrics Society. “It can be a million-dollar place with the newest renovations, but if there is no love, it’s not a home.” Make sure that any nursing homes you are looking at have that essential human touch. Look for staff that is happy and ready to help.
It is especially important to ensure that you find a facility with caring, competent staff if your loved one is dealing with complications like Alzheimer’s or dementia. These residents are more prone to asking challenging questions, such as whether or not they can go home. A compassionate staff member can help ease their discomfort tremendously.
Ideally, nursing homes exist to help ease residents’ transitions into the next phase of their lives. While this may include offering them some extra assistance than they may have been previously used to, it does not and should not entail taking over someone’s life entirely. This means that, in a good nursing home, residents are able to make their own choices.
They are able to go to sleep and wake up whenever they want, they are allowed to wear what they want to wear, they are allowed to eat where they want to eat, and, with certain restrictions, they are allowed to go where they want to go. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. For this reason, it may be a good idea to look at nursing homes that offer both bigger cafeterias and smaller dining rooms. This will give residents the option to socialize or to enjoy a quiet meal as they see fit.
Most nursing homes have a substantial amount of residents who require some form of regular medical care. This makes it absolutely imperative for any eldercare facility to be well-staffed with an adequate amount of medical professionals. This can include physicians, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and aides, and even family counselors. Remember: mental health is just as important as physical health.
A good nursing home understands how to provide specialized, individualized care to each of their residents. This means that stroke patients, for instance, are able to meet with speech therapists and/or occupational therapists as needed, in addition to their ordinary medical care. Having access to adequate, quality care can help prevent further problems down the road. Such complications can be not only pricy but also incredibly physically taxing on the resident as well.
It is incredibly important for nursing home residents to maintain contact with their loved ones outside of the facility. That is why the best nursing homes have open visiting hours. Some will even allow for occasional overnight visits. This may prove to be a huge benefit if, for instance, your mother has recently had surgery. Ask about these and any other possible scenarios that may pop up before you make a decision.
We all want to make sure that we live out our lives as fully and richly as we possibly can. Good nursing homes know this and accommodate the need for meaningful activities. This means that residents are being offered a variety of physical, interactive, educational, and social activities to fill their time with. Mindless fun has its place, but there is only so much of it you can take before it dulls the mind and senses. A good nursing home knows how to keep residents stimulated and happy.
Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are operated as well as they should be. At Injury Victim Law, we may be able to help with any medical malpractice or nursing home abuse you have suffered. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide nursing home abuse attorneys. Let us fight for you.