If you’ve watched or listened to the news at all recently, you know that two major hurricanes hit the U.S. late summer and that millions of people were impacted by these hurricanes. Special attention was drawn to nursing homes in Texas and Florida that were affected by the extreme weather. Images of nursing home residents with water up to their waste in Texas were flooding the news. From Florida, news leaked that eight nursing home residents died in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. These stories brought into the spotlight emergency plans in nursing homes and the quality of care being provided to residents. In response to the issue of nursing home quality, the New York Times took it upon itself to write a helpful article on how to choose a nursing home. Here are some key points from the article, as well as a few tips from Senior Caring on how to choose a nursing home!
Three Tips for How to Choose a Nursing Home
1. Do you research
The first step for how to choose a nursing home is to do your research. Word of mouth is a good way to know about the quality of a nursing home if it’s a local spot, but there are also more official ways to investigate. There are websites, such as Nursing Home Compare, that list a lot of data about nursing homes and recent inspections.
2. Go visit
Once you have a few nursing homes you are considering, go visit them. There’s no better way to get a feel for how a place operates than to witness it first-hand. For example, you can see if the place is clean, if it’s under-staffed, and what the atmosphere is like. Some additional things to consider when you plan to visit a nursing home are the following:
· When is the best time to visit?
The New York Times article recommended to go visit nursing homes in the evenings or on the weekends, so you can get a feel for how the place operates during shift changes or when staff levels are lower. This way you can see how it is maintained during those “off times.”
· What is the staff like?
It’s also important to chat with staff and see how they interact with you and the residents. Do they make eye contact? Are they friendly? Do they look tired? Are some irritated? This can give you a good idea of how well the place operates. Also, pay attention to things like residents’ hair, fingernails, and their teeth. Many times, if these areas are unkempt, it is a sign that nursing home staff is taking shortcuts.
· Does the food taste good?
While you’re visiting, try the food! Since you are essentially looking for a place to call home, it’s important that the nursing home is cooking quality food that you will enjoy. The type and quality of food a nursing home serves is a way for you discover how much the nursing home cares about their residents.
3. Ask to see the emergency plan
The final tip for how to choose a nursing home is to ask to see the emergency management plan. This is especially important if the nursing home is located in an area of the country that is prone to weather emergencies, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or even blizzards that can cause power outages. When asking about the emergency plan the nursing home offers, ask whether or not the facility has a backup generator, or when was the last time staff reviewed the plan.
If you are searching for a nursing home, reach out to Senior Caring today and talk with one of our certified senior care advisors. They are compassionate, professionally trained, and will help you find the best nursing home based on your needs!
What other tips do you have on how to choose a nursing home? Let us know in the comments below!