Top 5 Things to Look for When Shopping Around for a Nursing Home
There are many important factors to consider when selecting a nursing home for a loved one. You may be wondering where to start, and our Florida Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are here to help. We have compiled a list of what we think the top 5 most important considerations are when choosing a nursing home.1. Is The Facility Clean?
This is a huge deal and can tell a lot about a place and how it is run. When touring the facility, run your finger along a desk or windowsill, and see if there is dust or dirt. If the facility is not up to par with cleanliness, just imagine what else they are neglecting. Dirty floors and unkempt bathrooms could mean that residents are not being taken care of properly and are subject to poor hygiene. Unsanitary conditions could mean more infections among residents, and this can easily lead to elderly residents suffering medical complications that could result in severe injuries or worse, fatalities. Some signs the nursing home you are touring is unclean could be dirty bathrooms, dirty floors, cluttered walkways, dirty furniture, unsanitary kitchens or dining areas, the presence of bugs or rodents, unwashed dishes, trash cans overflooding with trash, etc.2. Is The Facility Very Noisy?
A noisy environment is an indicator that there is a lack of respect for residents and a lack of order amongst staff. A facility that is too loud can mean that caregivers cannot provide quality care to residents. Loud volumes can absolutely affect work performance and the quality of care being provided to elderly residents.3. Are People Raving About The Food?
Good food goes hand in hand with good care. If the food is bad and residents are complaining, then this is a sign that the facility is lacking in other areas as well. Your loved one will likely need to follow a nutrition plan, that can be adjusted as time goes on, to account for any dietary restrictions. A meal plan is just as important as a care plan. You should ask about how the food is funded in the nursing home, who prepares the food and how, where the food comes from, and who is helping your loved one eat. It is very important that the food quality in the nursing home you choose is high so that your love done enjoys their meals and is getting the proper nutrition. If a resident’s diet is not being met, then malnutrition and dehydration can result, which is a direct sign of abuse and neglect. When you are touring a facility, look at the dining hall and observe:
- Can residents can sit where they’d like?
- Is the kitchen open 24/7?
- Are there are lots of options and variety of foods to choose from or a set menu where residents must take it or leave it?
- Is the dining atmosphere nice – is there music playing and flowers at the tables?
- What is the appearance of kitchen employees?
Likewise, check out the room options and see if there are refrigerators and microwaves, and even coffee pots. Some may even offer in-room kitchenettes for those residents that cannot make it to the dining hall. Look for snack carts being pushed around for residents. Also, see if there are cupboards stocked in rooms with snacks that are readily available for residents, like microwave popcorn, pretzels, crackers, chips, hot and cold cereals, pudding and gelatin.4. Are the Residents and Staff Happy?
If no one in the facility is happy, then why would your loved one want to be there? An unhappy environment could mean that there are deeper issues. Unhappy residents could mean that their needs are not being met and that no one cares to listen to them and find a solution. Unhappy staff members could indicate that they are understaffed and over worked. Staff members that are burnt out are likely to make mistakes, be forgetful, or lose their tempers, resulting in neglect and abuse.5. Are The Phones Being Picked Up?
This might not be something you think about, but it is very important. Phones not being answered goes beyond loved ones calling to check in on their loved ones. Remember, these phones are tied into resident’s rooms, so if they are not being answered, then that could mean that residents are not getting the help they need. When touring a nursing home, ask if residents can make calls when they would like and see what their cell phone policies are. Denying resident’s the right to use a phone could be a very telling sign that something is awry. On that same note, a facility not answering phones or returning calls could be another indicator that something is amiss.
Keep in mind that your loved one may not always be able to protect themselves and exercise their rights as they get older and continue to rely on others for the daily care they need to survive. You can help protect them by making sure the facility you choose for them is going above and beyond the standards set forth. Your loved one should be treated with dignity and respect, and if they are subjected to abuse and neglect, then action must be taken.
You do not have to prove abuse or neglect to contact us with any concerns. We will gladly gather all information you have and investigate further and file a report. We want to make sure that your loved one is safe and well cared for.
Call us now at 866-608-5529 or contact us online 24/7 to arrange a free consultation.