Seven Questions Every Family Member Should Ask About a Loved One at a Nursing Home
If you have an elderly relative in need of nursing home placement, you’re starting a complex process. You want to ask all the right questions, but how do you know what those questions are? Choosing the right senior care option involves some homework, and you have every right to ask prospective nursing homes the tough questions.
At CarePatrol, we have almost 30 years of experience vetting nursing homes and other senior care facilities. Whether you’re looking for first-time nursing home placement or are considering moving your relative to a new facility, here are seven key questions you should be asking.
How Many Hours Per Day Do Staff Members Spend With Residents?
You’ll want to make sure that your loved one is getting more than the bare minimum amount of attention. Federal law requires that nursing homes provide 24-hour licensed nursing services, with at least 8 consecutive hours a day of registered professional nurse services. However, you should confirm that the staff and caregivers won’t be leaving your loved one alone for hours at a time. Ask about check-in frequency, as well as how they prevent bedsores for bedbound residents.
How Will You Get to Know and Interact With My Family Member?
You want your family member to live in a place where everyone knows who they are, not a place where they’re little more than a room number. Listen for opportunities like get-to-know-you questionnaires or family member meet and greets. You can also ask if nurses have consistent rather than rotating assignments, which allow them to develop a relationship with the people under their care.
Additionally, during visits, take note of how nurses interact with their residents. Do they treat them with respect? Do they refer to them by name?
Do You Have Specialized Services or Resources for Rehabilitation or Dementia?
Many nursing home residents need specialized care services, such as memory care, physical therapy, counseling, speech pathology services, and more. Ensure that the facility can accommodate these special needs. This might mean being able to adapt a room or bathroom for accessibility or bringing in licensed therapists to assist with rehabilitation services.
What is the Daily Schedule and Activity Structure?
It’s vitally important for your loved ones to keep their minds and bodies healthy and active. Ask if the facility offers structured activities or planned outings. Social events, creative activities and spiritual or religious services are key functions to ask about. Also, you may want to ask to what degree your loved one can set their own schedule, including waking and sleeping time, visiting hours and pursuit of hobbies.
How Do You Ensure My Loved One Gets Proper Nutrition and Has Healthy Eating Habits?
Get to know the menu! Ask whether residents have choices, or if menus and mealtimes are set in place. A high-quality nursing home should be on the lookout for residents who are losing weight, who have lost interest in eating, or who aren’t getting all the nutrients they need. They should also accommodate dietary restrictions and have a protocol in place for addressing any food-related issues that may arise.
How Do You Build a Sense of Community Here?
No one wants to live in a place that doesn’t build a sense of belonging. Residents should be able to play an active role in the way things are done and have a say in their own care. It’s a good sign if seniors can participate in discussions and have their concerns taken into consideration. Ask if there are resident satisfaction surveys, and what the nursing home staff does with the feedback they receive.
What is Our Role as Family Members?
As relatives, you should be actively included in the community. Nursing homes that don’t provide an open invitation to visit, volunteer and speak with administrators should be avoided. Some facilities even offer family council meetings, where you can discuss your loved one’s needs and preferences.
Gain an Advocate by Working With a Senior Care Advisor
You have every right to ask any senior care facility these questions and any others you may have. However, finding care can be a stressful and sometimes overwhelming process. That’s why working with a trusted Senior Care Advisor from CarePatrol gives you an advantage.
Our Senior Care Advisors have a thorough working knowledge of all the facilities and services available in your neighborhood. They can help you navigate your options, vet nursing homes and assisted living communities, and ultimately place your relatives in the best care for them. With over 150 advisors nationwide and over 20,000 pre-screened communities, we’re equipped to find the best possible care for your loved one.
CarePatrol: Nationwide Assisted Living, Memory Care & Independent Living Placement Assistance
At CarePatrol, we’re dedicated to helping families find the best home for their loved ones’ needs. All of our Senior Care Advisor services are absolutely free—we provide needs assessments, guided community tours, moving day & transition support, and so much more. Contact us to get started finding CarePatrol services in your area today!