There are many nursing home features to seek out for your loved one. But, it is just as important to avoid the following features that you might find in a nursing home. These aspects of nursing homes can make them dangerous and unsuitable for your loved one.
All potential employees should get vetted before offered positions at a nursing home. They should complete the schooling, training, and licensing necessary to work in a home. Homes should also check that their employees don’t have a history of violence. People arrested for assault or other violent crimes are at a greater risk for causing abuse in homes. These candidates should not be accepted as employees of a nursing home. If they are given a position, they should be carefully monitored and frequently evaluated. When you visit a nursing home, inquire about the screening process for employees. Make sure that this process is thorough.
No Continued Training
Having a screening in process in place is a good start, but it is not enough when it comes to employee training. Laws, rules, and health practices are constantly changing. It is important that all employees of a nursing home are kept up-to-date on these changes. The nursing home should pay for each employee to receive education and training. This helps employees stay on top of any changes and become better at their jobs.
Lack of Privacy
Your loved one should not have to worry about their privacy being violated in the nursing home. Your loved one should have the option of a single room, or at least choosing a roommate. Even if your loved is sharing a room, they should have private space. Your loved one should have a safe or an area to put valuables that no one else has access to. They should also have privacy to get dressed and bathe.
Limited Visiting Policy
Chances are, you will want to visit your loved one regularly while they are living in a nursing home. You can discuss the visiting policy with the director of operations. Many nursing homes will work with the family to find the best times for visiting. Some nursing homes go above and beyond and allow family members to rent out a large room for parties. Even if the nursing home does not offer this option, you should make sure that it has regular visiting hours. Visiting on nights and weekends is possible in good nursing homes. Be sure to ask about this opportunity as well as visiting on or near holidays.
No Care Plans
The care plan is the foundation of a nursing home resident’s well-being. Each resident should have a care plan created as soon as possible. When you visit the home, talk a nurse about the care plans created for the residents in the nursing home. Also discuss the process of creating a care plan for your loved one. You can ask the nurse questions such as:
- Can I have a copy of the care plan?
- If needed, can changes be made to the care plan?
- Which doctors will be included in the care plan?
- Can my family be part of the care plan process?
- Who will carry out the care plan and make adjustments as necessary?
Creating the care plan is an essential step in your loved one’s health and well-being. Get a feel for what this process will be like before you commit to a nursing home. Make sure that the care plan will get followed and updated appropriately.
No Abuse Prevention
While this might seem like a simple aspect of a nursing home, it can make a difference for your loved one. The nursing home that you are looking at should have an abuse prevention plan in place. The plan should explain what abuse is. It should also explain what actions are prohibited in the home and the consequences for committing these actions. Outlining the do’s and don’ts of the nursing home can stop neglect or abuse from happening.
High Staff Turnover
When it comes to staff in a nursing home, one thing that you should look for is a high turnover rate. A high turnover rate is not good. This indicates a lack of communication between staff members. It also suggests poor management and the inability to make progress in the nursing home. When talking to a staff member, ask these questions to understand the turnover rate:
- How long have you been working here?
- Is it common for staff members to quit or get fired?
- Do you have any positions open for new staff members?
- Which staff member has been here the longest? How long has that person been here?
- How long do you plan on working here?
Getting answers to these questions will help you to understand the staff turnover rate.
Low Staff-Resident Ratio
In order for your loved one to receive the best care in a home, they need individualized attention. Most nursing homes have nurses that take care of specific residents during their shifts. Make sure that the nurses and staff members do not have too many residents assigned to their care at one time. Ask nurses and other staff members roughly how many residents they are in charge of at any given time. This will give you a good idea of the staff to resident ratio. This ratio can impact response time, treatment, and the likelihood of neglect and abuse.
Long Shift Hours
It is important that you do not pick a nursing home where the staff is overworked. Overworked and tired nurses are oftentimes burnt out, tired, and frustrated. This is a bad combination when working with residents that need compassionate care. When speaking with a staff member, you should subtly ask them what their hours are like. Before visiting the home, you may be able to look up staff hours and shift rules on the nursing home’s website. But, if you cannot find this information, ask a staff member. This can get you the answers that you need. Asking not only what a typical shift is like, but if shift rules get broken and how often will be telling. While staff members might not share this information, some might speak to you honestly. This can help you make a decision about the nursing home.
Limited Registered Nurses
When learning about a home, you might be impressed by the number of licensed nurses the home has. While these staff members are an important part of keeping a nursing home safe, you should also pay attention to how many registered nurses the home has on staff. Registered nurses should be in charge of resident care. It is important that there are enough registered nurses working at the home to take care of the residents.