How to Choose the Right Nursing Home for Your Loved One
Use these tips to help you identify if a home is right for your loved one.
Choosing a Nursing Home for your loved one is a big decision. All carers want the best for their ageing parent or relative, and finding an acceptable, well-organised home for them is important for their (and their carers!) wellbeing.
As a carer, you may have heard about ‘all the things you should know’ when researching about Nursing Homes. But with over 2,600 aged care facilities in Australia, how do you choose the right one?
It all begins with being clear on your standards and what you want for your loved one. For example, would you prefer a Nursing Home that specialises in certain illnesses? Does the Nursing Home need to be accessible through public transport?
Once you’re clear on your needs, your search for a suitable Nursing Home becomes much easier. Here are some tips to help you identify if a home is right for your loved one.
As the saying goes, first impressions matter! All Nursing Homes would welcome visits by prospective carers, and you’d definitely want to take the opportunity to gather as much information as possible.
Here are some of the things you can take note of during your visit:
Take as many visits as you need, and as much time you need to assess the Nursing Home. A great home will be transparent and welcoming to your questions and visits, so don’t view a facility for just 5 minutes.
It’s very important that you have a clear idea of how many staff they have in the Nursing Home and the quality of the staff. Understaffed Nursing Homes might rush through giving the appropriate care your loved one needs.
So what is a good staff-to-patient ratio? Ideally, you’d want a 1-staff-to-6-residents ratio (1:6), but there’s no hard and fast rule. More importantly, you should note how the staff interacts with residents. Always trust your instinct and judgement in this scenario.
It’s also good to ask if any allied health providers regularly visit the Nursing Home, such as nurses and doctors. If your loved one has specific medical needs, ask if there’s a professional who can assist with their needs, especially in cases of emergencies.
Most Nursing Homes would have a schedule that they follow, and it usually includes activities such as exercise and games. During your visit, ask the home what types of activities they have available for their residents and how often they take place during the week. That way, you’ll know if the activities suit your loved one.
Different Nursing Homes have different activities and niches, so look for a home that best suits your loved one’s personality. For example, if they are more comfortable being with people of a specific religious background or language, then look for a home that accommodates their wants. Being in a like-minded environment will ease their anxiety and stress.
Knowing what food is served in the Nursing home is crucial, especially if your loved one has specific dietary requirements. The food quality is usually a good indication of the Nursing Home’s quality, and a poorly managed Nursing Home would try to minimise its food costs by serving unnutritious or unhealthy food to residents.
During your visit, ask the home about the types of meals they serve and if there are multiple options available for residents. If you have the time, it’s good to visit during mealtimes to get a first-hand look at the food served. Choosing the right Nursing Home for your loved one can be a daunting task, but with the right help and tools, you will be able to find the right one. Care About assist carers in finding the proper care for their loved ones and navigating the various care options available. For experienced help in finding a suitable Nursing Home, contact our team for a personalised discussion and arrangement.