Looking for the Right Care Home

Choosing the right care home.

Looking for the right care home is not an easy task.  Here are 10 tips in looking for the right care home

1. What are the meal choices?

For someone that has been in total control of what they eat, having meals prepared and planned out for them can be disappointing.  All care homes are mandated by the state to have a specific menu to serve to all residents in care home settings.  Meals on the menu are careful to be moderate in calories, sodium, sweet, and fat intake.  The menu is made to cater to people with various health ailments.  Care home operators are mindful in serving meals that are consistent with the menu and tasty to their residents.  Care home operators can modify and accommodate any patient with a specific diet ordered by a physician or dietician.

2.  Noise level.

A Long term nursing home can be noisy with medical staff walking in and out of rooms, and other patients yelling or moaning usually due to symptoms of Dementia.  Some patients like the noise and some want peace and quiet.  Since care homes vary in their environment some homes are very quiet and others are busier.  The busy homes usually have more patients and may have a larger staff working in the care home.  Noise can also be caused by patients’ residing in the care home due to an illness.

3.  Smell or bad odors

Smells or bad odors found in a care home setting could be due to incontinence of bowel and bladder in residents who reside there, incontinence in older age is common.  Bad odors can also come from medications and specific diets that may cause a resident to become more gassy.  In any case caregivers must take the appropriate steps to keep care homes clean and sanitized properly.

4. Workload of Staff

Caregiving is rewarding and hard work physically and mentally.  Ask the caregiver about his or her ability to keep up with the workload and if he or she has substitutes or other staff members to help with patients.  Take notice on how staff members treat each other.  Sometimes it may be a reflection on how they treat your loved one.

5.  Activities

Some care homes have a schedule of activities that their residents do every day and some do not at all.  For the most part care homes main focus is on getting the individuals medical needs met and not on activities.

6.  Air Quality

In Hawaii the temperature stays warm most of the year.  Take notice of the air flow through out the home and if it is airy enough for your loved one.  Some homes offer air conditioning but are not required to have it.

7.  Bathing schedule

Ask what the bathing schedule is like.  If your loved one has a routine of showering everyday the care home may only offer showers every other day.

8.  Do you see abuse happening in care home?

As seniors get older their skin becomes more fragile and medications can also cause the elderly to become prone to bruising.  If you suspect any unusual bruising especially around the upper arm of an individual bruising should not be ignored and needs immediate attention.  Ask caregivers if they have had any individuals with bed sores and what steps they take to prevent them.

9.  How does the care home handle falls?

Since the elderly is at high risk for falls ask the caregivers and staff how they handle falls and what their protocol is for falls.  Ask if family members are notified if any fall should take place.

10.  Personal Care Needs?

Especially when you have a loved one who is incontinent through out the day , ask caregivers how many times a day they change a resident if they are incontinent.  Ask about oral care and if they help with flossing and brushing daily.

Choosing the right care home for someone you love is not an easy task, use the 10 tips above to help you on your journey in finding quality home placement.  For more questions and tips in finding proper home placement contact Ku’unani De Monte at Caregiver’s Heart Hawaii 808-425-5101 or email: kuunani@caregivershearthawaii.com.