Nursing homes provide a valuable service for countless families, and the need for these establishments will only increase. While there were approximately 5.9 million people over the age of 85 in 2012, that number could become as high as 19.4 million by 2050.
To care for the elderly, many families rely on nursing homes. While most establishments are perfectly fine, there have been instances of abuse in the state. You want to make sure your loved one has the best care imaginable, and there are various ways to gain confidence in the nursing home you select.
Pay attention during the tour
Most nursing homes will allow your family to take a tour to get a feel for the facilities. Pay attention to subtle signs of how the staff interact with the residents. For instance, the staff members should refer to the residents by their names instead of something like "Grandma." You may hear residents say things like, "Help." While it feels unsettling, it could be a symptom of dementia.
Make sure to take a look at the nursing home's cafeteria and the kind of food available. It should look visually pleasing and nutritious. You also want to pay attention to any odors. It may smell different, but if you smell something resembling urine, then it could be a sign the staff does not clean the area regularly.
See how the staff members interact with one another
One negative sign is if the staff members appear overworked. At the end of the tour, you can ask to speak with the director of nursing to inquire about how many people are on staff during any given shift. You should also try to see if you can catch the nurses speaking to one another. If they are rude to each other, then they are most likely rude to the residents.
Finally, make sure to ask about what recreation is available. There should be many activities for residents to enjoy.