When looking for a nursing home for your loved one, you should use the checklist below to satisfy yourself that your loved one will be receiving great care. Find a home where it is situated in a location where family and friends can visit easily.
Drop in unexpected and see how the staff is taking care of the residents. Is the staff friendly, available and caring? Are they welcoming your unexpected visit, or do they seem uneasy that you are there? Are they pleasant and accommodating to you and the residents? All things to look for, because if the staff is not compassionate your loved one will not be taking well care of.
Check out the dinning room and also the kitchen area. Does the dining room look attractive and clean? Is is furnished with comfortable chairs and tables that can be moved easily to accommodate residents in wheelchairs? Is the kitchen well kept and clean, and is there cleaning supplies on the counter's near food? Also in the kitchen, are the food preparation, garbage, and dish-washing areas all separated from one another?
Is there an active resident council or a resident participation program? Do the residents have a role in recommending changes within the nursing home facility? Does the home have an activity room? Are able residents involved in some type of activity like reading, craft work, or playing cards? Are the residents encouraged to go outside in a nice courtyard?
Are the hallways wide enough to accommodate two wheelchairs to pass with ease? Are there hand-grips on each side? Are the walls decorated with colorful paint and pictures? Are there handrails in hallways and grab-bars in the bathrooms? Are all the exits and paths to these exits clearly marked and unobstructed? Are the doors unlocked from the inside? Are all stairways enclosed? Do all the bedrooms open onto a corridor and have a window? Are toilet facilities designed to accommodate wheelchair residents? Do you smell heavy, unpleasant odors?
Does the home have a current license to operate from the state, and is it posted clearly on a wall near the entrance? Does the administrator have an up-to-date state license? Is there a posting of the Residents Rights? Is the resident eligible for Medicaid or Medicare? Is a physician available for emergencies?
If you find that perfect place for your loved one, please don't forget to visit them regularly, or try to make arrangements for them to visit you. Please make an extra effort to stay in contact. Call them frequently with all the news of the family, or just call to say hello. Write as frequently as you can. The older generation loves to still get letters and cards. Many short notes are better than fewer long ones. Include newspaper clippings of interest and discount coupons for things they like. Don't forget to send them surprise packages: little gifts on occasions other than birthdays and Christmas or even on non-occasions. That way they'll know you're thinking about them.
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