4 Tips For Choosing A Long Term Care Home

Before picking a long term care home for a loved one keep a few things in mind.  Do your homework to find an ideal match for your family member or friend.

Use these 4 tips to choose a long term care home.

Check the Staff

Does it look like the staff is overworked and stressed? If staff consistently does double shifts or heavy overtime the quality of care offered may suffer in the process. Even well-intentioned workers are subject to doing a less than optimal job in stressful conditions. After working for 14 hours you’re bound to forget one resident’s specific needs. If you’re experiencing a particularly difficult day you might make a disastrous mistake that could adversely affect both the resident and the long term care home.

Pick a facility which offers overtime sparingly to staff. Although every worker is entitled to make extra money and some people thrive off of working long hours you could be making a mistake by picking a facility which places its staff in stressful working conditions. Go with a well-rested staff to create the best experience for your loved one.

Observe a Resident’s Normal Day

How does a long term care home resident spend his or her time? Some people watching residents may mill around the nurse’s station or the entrance area to watch visitors. This is preferred versus seeing residents laying in bed or watching TV all day.  Look for a daily calendar of activities to choose from if you want a positive experience for your loved one. In the case of people who are room-bound different activities can be performed in the room to keep the environment stimulating.

Walk around the grounds for a few hours to see what people are doing. Seeing groups of residents meeting together or interacting with staff is a positive sign. Socializing is a positive, bonding experience which boosts the energy of both residents and staff alike.

Ask About Personal Care Needs

Every resident has different needs. Some incontinent individuals may require more frequent changing while others may not need as much care. If staff receives memos regarding a maximum number of changes per day for all residents you’d want to cross this facility off of your watch list. Individualized care separates one long term facility from another. Residents need to know that their personal needs are being met to gain confidence in a home. Staff should be aware of each resident’s requirements. If some conflict arises between a home-wide memo versus an individual’s needs make sure staff honors the requirements of the resident. Find a long term care home which offers individual support.

Fall Issues

Falls are an unfortunate part of living in a long term care home. As residents age they are more likely to lose their balance and suffer from a fall.  Staff should be quick to check residents for injuries to prevent any lingering issues. Also observe how quickly workers assist someone who’s fallen. Make sure staff checks in with the resident a few hours after the fall. Closed head injuries and various other problems may manifest as confusion suffered well after the fall itself.