The nursing home you choose will have a huge effect on your loved one’s life. The right nursing home can provide compassionate care and help, while other nursing homes may employ staff members who may not provide sufficient care, and at worst might engage in abusive or neglectful practices. Read on for tips on how to choose a nursing home in Olympia.
Search for Nursing Homes Close to Home
The first thing that you should do when choosing a nursing home, as suggested by Medicare.gov, is to search for nursing homes near home and family. Choosing a nursing home near home and family can help ease the stress of transitioning to the nursing home facility. It can provide easier access to all of your – or your loved one’s – favorite locations and people. Choosing a nursing home around family helps family members to more regularly visit and check in on the nursing home resident.
In order to help you find nursing homes near you, ask your friends and family members for recommendations, ask your doctor to point you in the right direction, contact your local senior center, or go online.
Consider the Quality of Different Nursing Homes
The next step in choosing a nursing home in Olympia is to consider and compare the quality of different nursing homes.
Some things to think about, as suggested in a 2013 U.S. News and World Report article, are below.
- Kind of nursing staff at the home
- Amount of nurse staffing
- Adequate overall staffing?
- Performance in key medical and behavior measures
- Health or safety violations?
- Obvious safety hazards (frayed carpet that could lead to a slip and fall, for example)
- Consistent assignment of nurses and aides to the same patients?
In addition to weighing the quality measures listed above, you should also consider the price of the nursing home, as affordability is often an issue. You can also gauge the overall feel of the home by paying attention to the friendliness and politeness of the staff. Talk with the floor nurses and care providers, not just the marketing staff.
If your loved one does not have an attending doctor to provide medical attention in the nursing home, you should also consider meeting with the Medical Director working in the skilled nursing facility, and discuss ongoing care needs and what happens in the event of a medical emergency or other healthcare problem.
If you’re not sure how you can discover the quality of a facility, one of the best ways to do so is by conducting an in-person visit. Using Medicare.gov, you can also look up nursing homes in your area and compare ratings based on health inspections, staffing, and quality measures.
Think About Personal Preferences
After comparing the quality of nursing homes and narrowing your selection down to two or three choices, the final things to consider are your – or your loved one’s – personal preferences. For example, if you have a pet, you may need to discover which nursing homes allow you to have visitation with your pet. Or you may want to decorate your living space with pictures of home and loved ones, which some nursing homes may restrict.
Things like the time residents eat, go to bed, and receive personal care needs such as bathing and grooming can also play a role in your decision. You should also find out if your loved one is allowed to leave the skilled nursing facility with family or friends. Heavily weigh any personal preferences before committing to a particular nursing home.
Services Offered by Nursing Homes
Room and Board
One of the biggest differences between a nursing home and a traditional medical clinic is that a nursing home provides its patients with room and board. Depending upon the specific nursing home facility, some patients may have more flexibility in their room. Some may be able to bring furniture or decorations from home.
Medical services are a key component of the services offered by a nursing home. Almost all nursing home residents have medical needs, ranging from medication needs to physical therapy needs to help with basic movements. A nursing home typically provides all of these medical services and then some. What’s more, in the event of a medical emergency, nursing home staff can respond appropriately and contact emergency responders to bring the patient to the hospital if necessary. This emergency care is available 24 hours every day.
One of the biggest challenges for elderly people who are living alone is being able to engage in social activities and have much-needed companionship. A nursing home remedies this by allowing residents to live in close proximity to one another. It provides a number of social and recreational activities for residents. Additionally, nurses in nursing home facilities often provide a valuable service to residents by forming professional relationships with their patients and providing companionship.
Personal Care Services
Some elderly people cannot provide themselves with the personal care that they require without assistance. In a nursing home, nursing home staff can assist residents with bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, toilet assistance, and all other personal care services.
The services above are basic services that all nursing homes should provide. But some nursing homes may also provide additional services. Below are some of these additional services.
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Physical therapy
- On-site pharmacy, laboratory, and radiological lab
- Dental services
Are all nursing homes the same?
Each nursing home will provide its own version of the services mentioned above. When choosing a nursing home, meet with nursing home staff and perform research into the quality of the nursing home and the care it provides. In addition to researching the nursing home’s history, the Cleveland Clinic recommends talking with your family and caregivers about what types of services you or your loved one – require as an elderly adult.
Sadly, some nursing homes fail to provide these services in a safe environment. Some nursing home staff have abused residents or neglected their care. Types of nursing home abuse include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation.
If you or your loved one suffered because of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, report it to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Remove yourself or your loved one from the environment as soon as possible, speak with nursing home staff about the problem, and talk to an attorney if you or your loved one suffered damages.
Get Legal Help in the Event of Abuse or Neglect at the Nursing Home
Ultimately, the most important aspect of choosing a nursing home is choosing one that is safe. If you or a loved one ever fall victim to abuse or neglect in your nursing home, you need to report it, secure your or a loved one’s safety, and consider taking legal action immediately.
The attorneys at Ron Meyer & Associates PLLC know that nursing home abuse can be traumatizing, damaging, and sometimes cause wrongful death. If a nurse, aid or other staff member ever abuses you or a loved one, our legal team will help you to recover compensation and work to make the skilled nursing facility accountable. To reach our attorneys, call 844-920-2438.