Your parent should live out their golden years in a comfortable, pleasant environment. If they can no longer take care of themselves adequately use these 4 tips to find a reputable long term care home for them.
What Does the Food Taste Like?
Sit down for a meal with your loved one in the home cafeteria to get a feel for the dining experience at the facility. Doing so can help you judge the quality of what’s being offered and can also help your parent feel better. Even though meals may be nutritious if the food tastes bland your loved one will rue meal time at the facility.
Reputable homes put great love and care into preparing savory, nutritious meals. Since many senior citizens may lose sensory faculties make sure the food passes the taste test on your own to find the right center for your parent.
Most staff observes the amount of food your loved one eats to gauge their interest in a meal but if you find your parent eating the food you bring with great relish let the staff know about their preference.
Listening to the sounds at the home gives you a glimpse into the experience for residents. Beware judging a facility based on pleas for help. Many residents yelling and screaming may be suffering from dementia. Focus on how staff communicates with residents.
Workers who address residents by names create a more personable, pleasant environment. Your parent is likely used to being addressed by their first name or perhaps through a more formal Mr. or Mrs. so they’ll likely feel more comfortable if staff uses their name.
Workers should ask how your parent would prefer being addressed. Respecting an individual helps add to their dignity and can create a warm, loving bond which carries over into the environment at the long care home.
Use Your Nose
One trip through a long care facility can be an assault on the olfactory senses. Since diets and specific medications can make residents flatulent you can expect to take in some offensive odors after strolling through the living area. As older people tend to lose control of their bowels and bladder you’re apt to smell some unpleasant odors in the home but if you note the noxious smell of stale urine you should take this as a red flag.
Staff should clean the home regularly and thoroughly to prevent any pervasive, offensive smells. Floors should be mopped frequently and rewaxing and stripping should occur to keep the environment from smelling unpleasant.
Walk throughout the facility to see if the hallways and rooms are being adequately cleaned. Choose a long term care facility where staff fastidiously works to keep the home clean.
If you find staff acting abruptly with residents you may see signs of an overworked workforce. Stressed staff can’t possibly offer the best service to your loved one. If linens seem to be piling up in soiled mounds or if food trays aren’t removed in a timely fashion you may want to cross the home off of your watch list.