Choosing a nursing home is a big decision. There’s a lot of research to be done in order to ensure that you or your loved one is going to get the nursing home quality of care you desire for them. This will often come down to the staff in the nursing home and the training they’ve received.

The staff isn’t the only aspect that has to be considered when it comes to what to look for in a nursing home. You can have the best staff in the world, but if the facility itself isn’t up to code then your loved one isn’t receiving the care they deserve. As nursing home advocates, Guardians of Care knows exactly what to look for when it comes to helping you find the best nursing homes around. Here are some of the biggest problems that should be looked for before anyone moves into a nursing home.

Is the Resident Call System Reliable?

Nursing home patients have many reasons to rely on a call system that informs the staff of problems. Their voices may not be loud enough to be heard during an emergency, or they might be too weak to seek help. Of course, there’s also the possibility that they’ve been injured and are unable to leave to room to tell anyone.

Because the resident call system is so important, it’s vital that it’s working and up-to-date. After all, a system that’s in place but isn’t working reliably — or isn’t being monitored properly — isn’t going to provide the nursing home quality of care that you should expect.

The Condition of Essential Equipment

While a nursing home might not have the extensive amount of medical equipment that you will find in a hospital, what equipment they do have should be up-to-date and beneficial to the residents. This includes comfortable beds, supportive wheelchairs, easy-to-push IV poles, and monitoring equipment that will give accurate readings. Specialized equipment, such as gear for bariatric patients, should also be on hand and in working condition.

If you visit a nursing home and can’t tell whether or not the equipment is up-to-date and working, that means you should probably consider contacting a nursing home advocate to help you choose the best place for your loved one to live.

Pest Control

While there are many types of nursing home neglect and elder abuse, there probably isn’t a situation that feels more visceral than when a facility has pests. There’s just something about the idea of our elderly living among rats, mice, roaches, and bed bugs that simply turns our stomach.

Not every nursing home that has to deal with pests is necessarily a bad one. A nursing home at the edge of an open field might offer excellent views and birdwatching for their residents, but they might also have field mice trying to get into a building. One that’s in a renovated old building might have excellent architecture by could have roaches in the basement. The important thing to watch out for is how well they are mitigating the problem. A nursing home that recognizes the problem and deals with it can still be an excellent candidate. A nursing home that’s ignoring the problem can itself be ignored when you’re looking for one!

Residents Per Room

Whether or not your loved one gets a private room in a nursing home will probably be determined by your budget. Many elderly patients will end up with roommates, which in most cases is actually a good thing. It gives them someone to talk to, can prevent loneliness, and means that there’s always someone else around who can alert nurses to problems in an emergency. Some residents might even have two or three roommates, which means that there’s always someone around for a game of cards!

The problem comes when there are too many people in a room. While a nursing home room is fine if it reminds someone of a college dorm room, it shouldn’t remind anyone of a sorority or fraternity house. The maximum number of residents in a room should be four, and more than that should raise red flags when choosing a nursing home.

Room Safety and Comfort

The number of residents in a room isn’t the only thing to watch out for when taking a look at the space in which a nursing home resident lives. Some of the following are legal requirements that might be missed during inspections, while others simply make life safer and more pleasant for your loved one in a nursing home.

The first thing to check for is to make sure that the room has easy and clear access to a nearby exit. It’s also important for there to be at least one window to the outside. Rooms should also allow each resident a certain degree of privacy. Of course, easy access to sufficient toilet and bathing facilities is also a must.

Secure Handrails

For most of us, handrails just blend into the visual background. Even if we use a bathroom with handrails, we seldom even notice they exist because we have no need for them.

But in a nursing home facility, handrails are an absolute necessity. These railings are used every day by dozens of elderly residents who use them for support as they walk. Without handrails, many would suffer more falls and broken bones. Handrails should be inspected so that they’re secure and without any wobble that could cause someone using it to second-guess their steps.

We Can Help You Choose The Best Nursing Home

Deciding what is — and is not — acceptable in a nursing home facility can be a daunting task. As we’ve discussed, there are many things to watch out for when it comes to the facility itself, and that doesn’t even cover the staff, the nursing home’s reputation, or previous legal problems they’ve had.

When it comes time to find the best nursing home for yourself or a loved one, balancing all of the above aspects can be very daunting. A nursing home advocate can do all of this research for you, ensuring that you’ll find a nursing home that has high marks and still fits your budget. Not only that, but a nursing home patient advocate can also make sure everything continues to go well once the resident has moved in. We hope you’ll contact us today so that we can help you choose the nursing home that’s right for your family.