Nursing homes and other assisted living facilities can be a great boon to seniors who need additional care or simply can’t keep up with living independently anymore. Help your loved one shop around for nursing homes and look out for these positive qualities as you visit.
How is the home decorated? How much fresh air and sunlight are allowed in? Some nursing homes have a hospital-like feel, with white walls, plain tiled floors, and drawn curtains. Others go out of their way to create a welcoming and homey atmosphere.
Ask if residents are allowed to decorate their own living spaces and bring in their own plants and furniture. Your loved one will be living in this place full-time, and they should be allowed to make themselves fully at home.
While your loved one may not want to be followed at all times, they should still have someone keeping an eye on them! The nursing home should have enough staff to keep residents from harming or endangering themselves. Inattentive or inadequate staffing can lead to wandering and elopement incidents, especially among residents with dementia or other cognitive conditions.
In addition, staff should be friendly to residents and listen with empathy to their concerns. Nursing-home life can get lonely at times, but good-natured nurses and other staff can liven up a slow day.
Nutritious, Delicious Food
What does the nursing home’s dining situation look like? Are residents permitted to choose their meals, or is there a set menu?
Even if the daily menu is limited, the food should be healthy and good to eat. A high-quality nursing home offers attractive, tasty meals that meet residents’ nutritional requirements. They should also offer meals that cater to specific diets; if your loved one requires a halal or kosher meal, they should have access to such options.
Many seniors hesitate to move into nursing homes because they feel as though their agency and independence are being taken from them. They don’t want to be told what to do all the time!
A high-quality nursing home allows its residents as much independence as is safe for them. Residents should be allowed to wake up and go to bed on their own schedules. A good home also encourages the residents’ hobbies and interests. If your loved one wants a pet for companionship, look for a nursing home that allows four-legged friends.
Helping your loved one transition to a nursing home can be emotional, but it can also be exciting. Encourage them to seek out positive qualities in the nursing homes you visit and look forward to this new chapter in life.