It can be an emotionally taxing time to begin the process of finding a nursing home for your elderly parent, but the reality is that many need this degree of supported living in their later years. It's beneficial to take the time to visit a few different nursing homes to evaluate which one will be best suited for your parent. Your visit can often include a tour and a chance to speak to some staff members, but there's plenty of value in simply keeping your eyes and ears open and observing the scenes before you. Consider how the nursing home manages these three areas to help you decide if it's the right choice for your loved one.
Prevalence Of Smells
It might not be too exciting to think about, but how a nursing home smells can actually help you evaluate it. Ideally, the home should be devoid of unpleasant smells. While even state-of-the-art hospitals can smell in certain areas, you want to experience a home that smells pleasant regardless of the room you're in. It's a concern if you can smell urine and other body-related smells, as they could indicate that any residents' accidents aren't being cleaned up quickly or thoroughly. Keep in mind that in many nursing homes, it's inevitable that residents will have accidents occasionally. A neutral-smelling home is indicative of top-notch staff who take care of residents' cleanliness needs promptly.
Staff Stress Level
You don't need to be a psychologist to generally evaluate the overall stress level of the staff members at the nursing home. Watch for signs that the workforce is operating under a low degree of stress – you should see plenty of smiles, interactions with residents by name and busy but low-stress body language. These signs indicate that while the staff members might be busy, they're also happy and taking the time to connect with the residents, which can help your parent feel at ease upon moving in.
Although some nursing home residents are mostly confined to their beds, others will have a high degree of mobility. Take stock of what stability aids are located throughout the facility. You should see sturdy railings in every hallway, ramps instead of stairs at each elevation change and rubber mats around areas that could be wet, such as near the front door. In residents' rooms, look for handles and rails in the showers and non-slip coatings on the floors.
Sometimes, instead of a nursing home, the patient simply needs more help at home. For home health care, contact an organization such as GENACTA Home Care.