Six Questions You Need Answered When Looking For The Right Nursing Home

When looking for a nursing home for your elderly parent, many look similar on paper and on their websites. The only way to be comfortable that you've found the right fit is to visit various homes and get the following questions answered to your satisfaction. Consider these factors when researching the best place for your parent.

What Do You Hear While Walking Through the Facility?

Do you hear laughter and talking? Or is it moans and gibberish? Nursing homes often have residents with dementia and the random verbalization is something they can't control. Many facilities maintain separate areas for those who have dementia to provide both dementia and non-dementia patients care that is catered to their situation. 

How Does the Staff Address the Residents?

Listen to how the staff talks with the residents. If they refer to them as "grandma" or other familiar terms instead or their names, it shows a lack of respect. These people were accustomed to being called "Mr." or "Mrs.", or by their first names by friends. Look for staff that show respect when addressing the residents.

What Smells Do You Notice in the Rooms and Hallways?

It's unavoidable that some elderly residents may develop problems controlling their bowels and bladders. Faint odors are normal, but a strong scent of human waste can mean the nursing home is not keeping up with their cleaning. If the rooms and hallways smell fresh, it's a sign that the facility spends a lot of time sanitizing carpets, floors and bathrooms.

How Are the Residents Spending Their Time?

Are people gathered in community spaces attending programs, playing cards or putting together puzzles? Or are a number of residents sitting alone in their rooms in front of the TV? A quality facility should have a number of programs scheduled that residents can attend. There should be something every day in which your parent might like to participate. For those who are room-bound, the nursing home should have activities that come to them to keep them stimulated.

How is the Quality of the Food?

Many places will let you eat with your parent in the dining area. How does the food look, smell and taste? It should be something that invites your parent to eat, even when they may not feel up to it. Aging adults find that their sense of smell and taste becomes dull so food must be presented in a way that makes them want to eat.

What is the Staff's Workload?

A staff that is overworked and complains of being tired is a sign of a facility cutting costs by reducing the staff numbers. Find out what the ratio of staff to residents is and how much that fluctuates through the year. Talk with the staff and ask how much overtime they work. If the staff appear stressed from long hours, the care of the residents can be affected.

A nursing home, like Diamond View Assisted Living, can help you, your family and, most importantly, your parent. You should feel comfortable with the physical facility, the staff and their attitude toward the residents to make sure have found the right place.