The decision to move your elderly parents into a nursing home often comes with mixed feelings. While it can be reassuring knowing they will have access to round-the-clock care, you also want to ensure they will be comfortable, safe and treated with respect.
To achieve this, it is important to identify potential red flags when touring nursing homes. According to the U.S. News, there are 45 nursing homes to choose from in Delaware, so carefully vetting your top picks is essential.
1. The environment and the staff
Pay attention to the cleanliness and maintenance of the nursing home. Do you notice unpleasant odors or see unkempt areas? While no place can be perfect at all times, persistent bad odors or a generally dirty environment can indicate a problem with the home’s housekeeping standards.
Observe the staff too. Do they interact with residents in a respectful and patient manner? Do they seem rushed or stressed? High staff turnover can also be a red flag, as it can signal burnout, poor management and possible staffing shortages, which can all affect the level of care provided.
2. The residents’ experiences
Talk to residents, if possible, about their experience. Are they happy with the care they receive? Are there enough activities to keep them engaged and social? A lack of social activities can lead to loneliness and depression among residents.
Take note of the food provided to residents. Is it nutritious and appealing? Dietary care is a vital part of elder care, and substandard meals can indicate a disregard for residents’ well-being.
3. The nursing home’s record
In the age of the internet, you can find valuable information about the nursing home’s history and reputation online. Are there numerous complaints about the nursing home? Have there been reports of abuse or neglect? Bear in mind that one or two negative reviews might not represent the entire story, but multiple complaints can suggest systemic issues.
Identifying these red flags can help you choose a nursing home where your parents will receive the care and respect they deserve. Remember that your parent’s comfort and safety are paramount. Do not rush the process, and make sure you have all your questions answered before making this important decision.