It can be tough to part with your loved one and leave them at a rest home. But this is necessary if they are not receiving enough care elsewhere. Even though they might have a greater chance of being exposed to disease from their peers, they ought to have access to medical care and attention at any time of day. Furthermore, the nursing staff is required to be fully vaccinated to work in the retirement home. With this in mind, you should be mindful whenever you visit.
There are several things to look out for if you want to ensure that your loved one is getting the treatment they deserve. After all, you are paying for a service. It is painful to see and hear stories of misbehavior in certain homes, so you must pay careful attention. Communicate with the person you are visiting and listen if they voice out any concerns. When they have nothing to complain about, here is what you should confirm:
Before you admit your loved one to the home, make them undergo food allergy and sensitivity testing. This way, you can inform the staff of any concerns you have in terms of diet. In doing so, you can have a benchmark for their attentiveness. You should emphasize whatever must be avoided due to their weak immune system. Always check the food being served and ask the person you are visiting if they were served anything that they were not supposed to eat.
Another way to test for attentiveness is by observing how they react to a patient’s call. It is understandable if the home is understaffed and is doing its best to help the patient as fast as possible. However, when you notice that they are causing unnecessary delays, a conversation with the director of the home should be more productive.
Still, have sympathy when you watch from a distance. The caretakers are likely to be overworked and are trying their best. Their breaks are usually short so if you catch them trying to sneak in a quick bite or a short text to their family, understand that they barely have time to themselves due to the extremely demanding responsibility of taking care of seniors.
Sometimes, it is difficult to identify what is missing until you need it. The same goes for medical facilities that can provide the treatment your loved one requires. To provide immediate medical attention, they must have an on-call service if they do not offer one in-house.
You should notice how staff approach medical emergencies during the visit. They usually have a procedure for every possible first aid that they can administer to the elderly when the facility is lacking. This should be part of their training before they are left alone by the more experienced staff.
It will also be useful to discern the equipment used in the treatment of patients. Although it is the priority of the nursing home to sustain the seniors, it can be challenging to keep track of the functionality of the machinery as the years pass. This is another way to better understand the attentiveness and awareness of the staff.
On the first day of admitting your loved one to the home, you would have noticed how they handle new patients. Interview the person you visit regarding their first night: how they are settling in and if there is something else they would like to share about their experience. You can also ask the front desk about their documentation process and how you will be contacted when you need to be informed about something important.
In the event of a patient falling or, for instance, death, the staff has protocols set in place for documentation. They also need to communicate with the emergency contact at an appropriate time to inform them of the situation their loved one is in. Being observant of how the caretakers approach these protocols will help you come to a conclusion regarding their character and if you can trust them. After all, these protocols are indications of how much they care for their patients.
Entrusting trained professionals with your loved ones will take some getting used to. You always have the liberty of pulling them out of the home when you sense that something is off or if you hear of a bad experience that they have there. On the other hand, when you find a good retirement home for them, make sure that the staff is aware of your gratitude.