If you are looking into nursing home care for yourself or a parent, you likely have a list of priorities. You may focus on cost, location and the services provided above all else.
You also should feel confident that the priorities of a facility align with yours. For instance, is patient care their top focus, or are they focused on their bottom line? Below are some indications that a nursing home puts patient welfare at the top of its list of goals.
Satisfied, sufficient staff
Too many nursing homes are understaffed. Thus, employees can be untrained, overworked and unhappy. There might be a high rate of turnover, which makes it difficult for patients and care providers to develop trusting, compassionate relationships.
On the other hand, if workers have support and receive fair compensation, they can possess the ability and desire to provide adequate, respectful care for patients.
Clear, enforced hygienic policies
Nursing home patients are often immuno-compromised, which makes it especially crucial to maintain sanitary living conditions. This can be a challenge in a group living environment, but some signs that a facility is clean and safe for residents include:
- Pleasant-smelling spaces
- Trash that is under control and not overflowing
- Handwashing and sanitization stations throughout the facility
- Proper storage and labeling practices for chemicals
- Logs of when shared and personal spaces have been cleaned
Further, pay attention to whether a facility requires staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Those that do not could be at a higher risk of exposing patients to the coronavirus.
Too often, living in a nursing home means a person spends much of their time alone. Isolation can contribute to deteriorating physical and mental health, so keep an eye out for ways a facility supports social interactions.
Daily scheduled activities, visitor policies and access to common spaces can all affect the social contact patients have, so look into what these offerings look like if they are available.
Getting the care that patients deserve
These policies and programs can indicate that a facility has made patient care a top priority, which is a good sign when looking for a nursing home.
However, suppose a nursing home promises these services and does not deliver them. In that case, concerned parties will want to explore their options for filing a complaint or seeking legal action against a negligent facility.