We live in very busy times where we are ruled by our own schedules. When this happens, we often have little time to care for our aging loved ones. Luckily, nursing homes are an option for many of us. When we cannot provide the care that our elderly relatives need, these facilities will fill in the gaps and make sure that they receive the assistance that they need.
Nursing homes have always been a big part of our society. For years, we have placed our trust and our family’s well-being in their capable hands. These facilities have allowed our elderly to age with dignity and grace through the care that they provide. Through the experienced hands, the nurses and other staff of these places have provided a wonderful and comforting place for older generations.
However, this is not always the situation for many of the nursing homes in our country. While there are a great number of misconceptions about nursing homes that need to be clarified, reports of abuse and neglect are causing alarm in families in the recent years. NursingHomeAbuseGuide.org shares that more than two million cases of elder abuse are reported every year. What makes the situation even more terrifying for family members is that 1 out of 10 elderly individuals is likely to experience some form of abuse.
Because of the amount of reports that the people are being bombarded with, quality nursing homes end up getting overshadowed. Good nursing homes are painted in a bad light despite their compassion and dedication towards the elderly.
In order to make sure that our relatives receive the best nursing home care, how do we sort out the terrible nursing homes from the good ones?
- Frequent change in staff
Like any other company, organization, or institute customer-centric services, you can tell a lot about a facility from how satisfied and happy its employees are. Staff turnover is unavoidable, but if happens frequently, then you might want to consider changing nursing homes.
If a facility is unable to take care of their own employees, then how can they fully care for their residents? Staff-resident interaction is necessary for the well-being of your loved ones.
- What does your nose say?
Your five senses can help you determine if your loved ones are getting the quality care that they need. When you first step into the facility or during your visits, look around and see if the place is kept clean.
Pay attention to what your nose picks up, as well. While it is normal to encounter a few unpleasant odors in nursing homes, you must pay attention to how it is dealt with by the staff. Does it linger for more time than necessary?
- What does the Internet say?
Thanks to technology, we can now access so much information with just a few clicks. Take advantage of this and look for reviews and comments about the nursing home you are considering.
Are there reports of violations done by the facility? And how serious are they? There are also multiple articles and Websites that provide lists of nursing homes with red flags.
Consult organizations on how to go about looking for nursing homes. Choosing nursing homes are an integral part of long term care planning, so talk to the professionals. Let them lead you to the right direction because these are the ones who know the Ins and Outs of long term care basics.
- Pay attention to what your loved one says… and doesn’t say.
At times, when Mom says, “I don’t want him/her taking care of me”, we often assume that it is a statement brought about by cognitive problems she is dealing with. But in reality, this is actually a cry for help. Do not take these statements lightly.
They must always be comfortable, especially with the people in charge of their lives. Do not ignore them when they say these kinds of statements. Investigate, and find out what made her say that.
Additionally, pay close attention to how your loved ones are after being admitted in a nursing home. Did their demeanor change? Are they suddenly withdrawn and uncommunicative? Keep in mind that emotional abuse does not leave bruises and marks, but it severely affects anyone.
- Trust your gut
Sometimes, everything can seem orderly and perfect, and yet your instincts are telling you that something is not right. Because there is no evidence of anything strange going on, you think that you are just having an off day.
However, we advise that you listen to your gut. If something does not feel right, then investigate. Take the time to look around because that feeling is there for a reason, you just have to look for it. Your loved one’s well-being is too precious to risk.
Samantha Stein is an Online Content Manager for ALTCP.org whose works focuses on long term care insurance, finance, elder care and retirement. Her choice to build a writing career on these fields is not merely out of the call of profession. Rather, she decided to pursue these subjects when she saw how being unprepared for long term care and retirement has greatly affected some of her loved ones.