When your loved ones become old and need more frequent medical care and social attention, a nursing home can be an excellent solution to their evolving needs. However, when you begin the search for a proper, well-reviewed nursing home to enroll them in, you’ll need to know what qualities are most important for their physical health, mental well-being, and continued happiness. If you’re ready to begin the search, here are eight must-have features that you should be looking out for when trying to locate the perfect nursing home for your elderly loved one:
1. Abuse-Prevention Measures
There are many reports of rising rates of abuse happening behind the scenes in American nursing homes. For this reason, you should focus your search on nursing homes that have clear-cut abuse-prevention measures put into place. If you find out that your elderly loved one is being abused by nursing home staff later on, you should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer ASAP to hold the abusive nursing home staff members accountable for their actions. The more vigilant you are about watching out for signs of abuse, the more effectively you’ll be able to protect your loved one from potential nursing home abuse.
2. Transparent Records
When a nursing home experiences an accident or an instance of abuse, it needs to be transparent about what’s occurred. Otherwise, it becomes difficult for the patients, family members of patients, and the public at large, to trust them. If you choose a nursing home that is fully transparent with its record-keeping practices, and with its communication efforts, then you can feel more assured that your loved one will be treated in a fair, compassionate manner.
3. Excellent Online Reviews
Looking at public records and opinions about a nursing home is crucial when you’re on the search for a perfect nursing home for your elderly loved one. After all, with how widespread internet review and reporting tools are for nursing homes these days, you have no excuse to avoid this crucial research. If you find that a nursing home has a recent (or long) history of abuse and scandal, it’s best to move on and find a better option.
4. Accessibility Options
Many nursing home patients have hyper-specific needs (such as strict diets) when it comes to accessibility options. Wheelchairs, certain care needs, and more need to be part of some patients’ care plans for them to lead happy, healthy lives. The more accessibility options a facility can offer to your loved one, the more fit it will be to take care of them for the foreseeable future. Never, ever cut corners in this area when looking for the ideal nursing home in your area.
5. Reasonable Visitation Policies
To stay mentally healthy and bright-minded, nursing home patients need contact with people outside of their nursing home environment. For this reason, you must ensure any home that you’re considering has visitation policies that will work for you (and everyone else who plans on regularly visiting your elderly loved one). To help your loved one transition into their new living environment, these visitations will become crucial (especially in their first few months living in a nursing home).
6. Clean, Well-Kept Facilities
An unsanitary nursing home is unacceptable. Not only will they make patients feel uncared for, but they will put them at higher risks of disease and infection as well. If you want to feel confident in a nursing home’s quality, you should book a tour to check out the facilities before booking your loved one’s stay there. Doing so can help you, and your loved one, feel more assured that the facilities will remain clean and sanitary throughout their stay.
7. 24/7 Nursing Care Access
Many nursing home patients require around-the-clock access to medical care. Since a medical emergency can happen at any moment, and since elderly patients need more rapid care when an emergency strikes, this is a non-negotiable feature to look for when researching nursing homes. Any nursing home that can not provide reliable, 24/7 nursing care access should be immediately crossed off your list of nursing home candidates.
8. A Focus on Community Care
In addition to solid visitation policies, nursing homes should foster a strong sense of community within their own walls. After all, elderly patients need to feel as though they can make friends, and continue their social lives after they enter into a nursing home’s care. The more community care and events a home has available for your elderly loved one, the easier their transition into the nursing home lifestyle will be.