Choosing to move a loved one into a nursing home is a difficult decision no matter what. As they age, their care needs become more complicated, and they may need more help than you can offer. Shop around for nursing homes and don’t be too quick to make a decision! These are a few of the best qualities to look for in a nursing home; keep this list in your pocket as you and your loved one explore your options.
It Feels Like Home
A nursing home or assisted living facility with blank hospital walls and dim lighting isn’t going to make your loved one feel at home. Look for a place with plants—real ones!—and plenty of open windows. Ask about the facility’s pet policy. If your friend or family member is allowed to keep an animal friend, they’ll feel more comfortable and less lonely.
The Food’s Good
Check out the dining room and ask about the menu. Do they have options to choose from? Your loved one will feel more in control if they can choose what they eat. Residents should receive freshly prepared, balanced meals with plenty of vitamins. Staff should be present in the dining room to help residents as needed. And even if the food looks nice on the table, ask about conditions in the kitchen. All food should be prepared in a sanitary environment!
The Staff Cares
In between performing their basic duties, do the nurses take a genuine interest in residents? Many folks in nursing homes are lonely and starved for conversation, and you can’t visit them every hour of every day. A facility with friendly, personable staff will put your loved one at ease.
Residents Are Healthy
Look around at the other residents in the nursing home. Are they comfortable? When a facility is properly staffed, nurses can spend more time caring for their residents and making sure to meet their needs. A home understaffed with tired, overworked nurses is a recipe for neglectful behavior and declining health in residents. Make sure your loved one’s health needs are a priority.
They’ve Got Amenities
Just because your loved one is in a nursing home doesn’t mean they’re done doing fun things. Does the facility have a hair salon? A library? When a resident can fill their day with activities that interest them, their spirits will stay up. A nursing home with a computer lab and a beauty parlor will feel less like an “old folks’ home” and more like an engaging experience.
Deciding to move your loved one into a nursing home can be emotionally difficult, but the transition gets easier if they’re excited to move in. The best qualities to look for in a nursing home are those that will make your friend or family member feel cherished, valued, and dignified.