The decision to put a loved one into a nursing home can be a difficult one for many. However, to avoid watching him or her suffer, it can truly be the best option for all involved. If your father has fallen victim to Alzheimer’s disease and cannot take proper care of himself any longer, or your mother is losing a ton of weight in a short period of time, it may be time to evaluate the need for a nursing home. Some signs include:
- His or her Alzheimer’s disease has developed so strongly to the point that you have been harmed or noticed paranoia, challenging behaviors, etc.
- Your own health is deteriorating due to constantly helping your loved one
- Your relationships/other responsibilities are taking a toll
- A doctor has agreed it’s time for a nursing home placement
- An excess amount of in-home services are being used to help your loved one
- He or she has wandered outside and gotten lost because of it
There are certainly an endless list of signs, but these mark the frequent flags that it’s time to evaluate the nursing home option. However, with about 40 percent of elders claiming they have been abused in some form or another in a nursing home, it’s best to do some research before throwing your loved one in the first nursing home you find. Beware of three big red flags, which should alert you to look elsewhere.
Red Flag #1: Strong, foul odor
Nursing homes are held to high standards and are inspected regularly by watchdogs to meet these standards. This means spills and messes must be cleaned up immediately, proper baths should be administered, clothes and beddings should be changed regularly, etc. If a nursing home has a bad smell, it usually means the sanitary conditions are not adequately being met, and proper attention may not be given to your loved one.
Red Flag #2: High Staff Turnover Rate
You may have heard the concept that a happy work environment results in higher productivity. This idea deems true for the nursing home culture as well. If you find that the staff at a nursing home changes every few months, this likely implies that there is an unhappy internal work environment. When a supervisor cannot properly take care of employees, it’s not logical to think the employees can take care of the home’s residents.
Red Flag #3: Employees Disrespect Residents
It’s definitely important to talk with some of the residents before deciding on a nursing home. It’s like a job description that seems mind-blowingly great, but you find out later once you fill the position that it’s not as glamorous as it was on paper. Employees may be extra professional and nice to potential residents and their caretakers, but getting a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on is only possible by conversing with the current residents. They will usually be straight up with what goes on, if they feel neglected or abused and the overall respect employees give them.
Lindsay Bradshaw is a content developer for McMinn Law in Austin, Texas. She is grateful to only have put her beloved grandmother in great nursing homes with excellent, respectful staff members.
Photo Credit: building construction partnership
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