If you are looking for a nursing home for your loved one, safety and quality of care are two concerns that should be at the top of your list. But how do you determine how safe a nursing home may be?
Quality of staff. Determine how the nursing home’s staff are vetted. Are background checks completed for all staff? How much experience is required for caregivers? Nursing home administrators should be happy to volunteer this information, which should be written up in their company’s hiring policies.
Security. Check for cameras at the entrances and exits to the building. Ask about the hours when the nursing home is open for visitors, and what the security procedures are for checking people in and out.
Response times. Is the staff responsive to your loved one’s needs? How long does it take staff to arrive when called with a call button to assist with walking or eating? While an immediate response is always best, and twenty minutes is certainly too long, use your judgement when monitoring these times.
Care assessment. When you visit your loved one, always be sure to look for pressure or bed sores. If your loved one is unable to move on their own, staff should be repositioning them every two hours. Also be alert for new wounds or signs of poor hygiene, which could indicate abuse or neglect.
Always keep communication open between yourself and the nursing home staff to ensure that your loved one gets the care that they need and deserve.