Whether you are in the process of transferring a loved one to a care home, or you currently discussing the possibility, you of course want to make sure that your loved one goes to the best home available. Whether you are looking at care homes in Southampton or anywhere else in the country, there are a few factors that you must be aware of. It takes more than a lovely building or a nice lobby to make a good care home, so start by asking some questions
First, ask about what the staff to resident ratio is. A care home that is too crowded or which has too many residents per staff member on duty is one where your loved one might not get the care that he or she needs, especially if there is a concern about the need for immediate medical attention. Make sure that each room has a bell that is easily accessible by the resident and inquire about how long it takes staff to answer a bell.
Remember that you should always tour the facility on a normal day. Avoid holidays or weekends as they are going to be too busy for you to get a good view of what is going on. Look at the residents themselves and see if they are well-groomed and neat. Get a feel for the general mood of the care home. A good care home has residents that are positioned comfortably in a social manner, and they are typically alert and aware. A care home where the residents appear listless or bored is a problematic matter.
Make sure that you always see the room that is under consideration for your loved one. In some cases, they will need to share a room, and if that is the case, there should be four beds or less in each room, with each bed having its own privacy curtain. Each bedroom should have a window, and aside from a bed, each resident should have a certain amount of his or her own furniture. This is an important factor when you want to make sure of your loved one’s comfort as well as their safety.
Don’t forget to consider the location of the care home as well. If your loved one is used to seeing family on a regular basis, it is ideal to keep them close. Choose a care home that is well within visiting distance of you and the rest of the family. This allows your loved one to avoid feeling as though they have been exiled.
Ask to see the dining area as well as the menu for the next two weeks. A care facility should provide at least two weeks worth of meals without needing to repeat a dish. Look over the menu carefully and make sure that your loved one’s dietary issues are going to be met. Are reasonable alternatives provided if a resident cannot eat what is on the menu? These reasonable alternatives are mandated by law, and a care facility that does not obey this stricture is out of compliance.
Use all of your senses when you are evaluating a care home. If you detect strong odors, whether they include urine, feces or overly-powerful deodorants, there may be poor care issues at work.
Be sure to check your desired care facility’s records with the state-level organization that governs nursing home complaints. Each state has a different one, and this can help you avoid a facility that has been in trouble before.
You want to give your loved one the best care available, so remember that not every care facility is created equally. Choose a care facility that is suited to your loved one’s needs, and remember to evaluate each considered facility carefully.
My name is Nisha, I represent a site called mha.org. I like to write about elderly care and families.