When it comes time to find a nursing facility for a parent, you can expect the task to be very difficult. You want to pick the right place, somewhere that is a good fit for them and close enough that you can get there quickly in case of an emergency. You also want to choose a facility that will keep your mother or father safe. With continuous reports of nursing home neglect, the last thing you want to do is move them into a home where they will be at risk.
The best thing you can do to ensure your parent’s comfort and safety is to stay alert for signs that the nursing home is not providing quality care. When you place a loved one in a nursing facility, it is up to you act as his or her advocate. If things are not up to par at the home, it is up to you to step up, speak up and take the necessary actions to either remove your loved one or ensure the home corrects the situation. Read further for more information on tips to choose the right nursing home for your elderly parent.
Take the taste test
Not only do you want to ensure that your mother or father is eating properly; you also want to make sure that the food the facility is serving is palatable. The elderly tend to lose interest in eating as they age especially since they are losing the full sensitivity of their senses. This means that if the food is not prepared to be both nutritious and tasty, your parent may not be eating enough. Take the time to test the food and share meals with them to determine if the home is meeting their needs in the dining room.
Use your ears
Listen to the way the staff talks to other residents. Are they being respectful, considerate and compassionate? If you hear nursing home staff belittling, disrespecting or patronizing other residents, the facility may not be a good fit for your parent.
In addition, listen to how the staff interact with each other. If you see or hear workers treating each other poorly, then there is a good chance they are not treating the residents any better. You may also pick up on signs of stress or indications that nurses and orderlies are overworked or badly managed. If the facility is understaffed or improperly supervised, that means that there is a high risk of injuries due to neglect.
Take a whiff
Pay attention to the smells in the nursing home. While most facilities can have some strange smells due to cleaning chemicals, medication and diets, odors such as stale urine can be signs that the home is not maintaining sufficient sanitary and hygienic standards.
An important choice
If you are considering placing a loved one in a nursing home, it is important to choose a facility that is safe, properly staffed and meets your requirements. If you are worried that the home you have chosen is failing in its duty and there is elder abuse or neglect, you may need to consider taking legal action.