How to Measure Quality of Care in Nursing Homes
December 17, 2018
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is an incredibly difficult one that families in Florida have to make every day. Once they do, they want to know that the nursing home will be safe and provide proper care to all its residents. So, how can a family measure the care of any one nursing home? The two best ways are to research them online and then actually visit them in person.
Methods of Inspection
There are hundreds of nursing homes in Florida. To narrow down the search to only include homes that provide quality care, going online is a good place to start.
There are several websites that list different nursing homes in different counties and provide some information on the quality of care they provide. On these websites, families and potential residents can look at inspection reports, learn what problems a nursing home has had in the past, and even see an analysis of inspections from past years. Doing this can be a great way to identify the best nursing homes a family may wish to start their search with.
After collecting a list of possibilities through some online research, the family and the resident should visit at least a few different facilities to determine the quality of care they provide. This is the only way to really inspect the facility personally, see how clean it is kept, and identify how well their residents are cared for.
What to Look for in a Nursing Home
The first thing to look for is the nursing home license. This may not be displayed, so a family member may have to ask for it, but it is important that it is seen. Families should also ask if the nursing home is certified through Medicare and/or Medicaid, if a registered nurse is available for the residents, and if so, how often there are at the nursing home. It is also important to take note of how many staff members are working at one time and compare that to the amount of residents they have.
Services make up a huge part of any nursing home. During the visit, family members should ask about these services. Are there activities residents can take part in such as exercise classes, religious services, or game nights? Do residents have plenty of areas to walk inside and outdoors?
While there, it is important that family members as well as prospective residents look at the cleanliness and the setup of the facility. If the staff is too busy to make sure floors are washed and that things are kept clean and orderly, they may be too busy to properly care for residents as well. In addition, safety features such as handrails in the bathroom and hallways should be sought out. However, if guard rails on beds are raised, that could be a cautionary sign. These can be used to restrain elders in their beds, which is an unsafe practice.
Lastly, family members and elders should both speak with the staff and get to know them. This can help them determine if the staff is friendly, if they are willing to listen to residents, how much they encourage feedback from residents and families, and how involved they will allow the family to be in the elder’s regular care plan.
The Importance of Measuring Nursing Home Quality of Care
Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be a very difficult one to make. Family members are often unsure about the kind of care their loved one will receive and want to be assured they will receive only the best.
Luckily, there are a few ways the quality of care in a nursing home can be measured before your loved one moves in. Family members and seniors just have to do some research, visit as many facilities as possible, and know what to look for while they are there. Then, together, they can choose the best nursing home for their needs.