Monday, January 16, 2012

What A Good Nursing Home Looks Like When You Visit

How To Find The Best Nursing Home For Mom Or Dad

I know there a many articles on how to go about choosing a Nursing Home for a parent, but I just have to add my two cents into the resource literature. We need to talk.
Selecting Mom Or Dad's Long Term Care 

Often mom or dad  gets directly admitted to a local Nursing Home after some awful event like a bad fall or medical event.
Sixty per cent of admissions to Nursing Homes come from hospital transfers (By the way, you do know that you can always move mom or dad to  another facility after the urgent crisis is over).
Finding The Right Nursing Home

Now  let's talk about choosing a Nursing  Home (a long term facility) when the family has time to actually select the placement? This is the topic I want to discuss with my readers. I have just made the rounds on  many Nursing Homes and can speak from experience (I am also a retired Nurse Practitioner). I am looking for a placement for a family member who is in need of more care than what an Assisted Living placement can offer. This is one of the most difficult jobs you will have to take on.
Medicare Guidelines To Review 

You will find  plenty of important  published guidelines to consider when  reviewing Nursing Homes. For those facts, I urge you to visit: a site that will allow you to check out and compare  Nursing Homes  based on such important categories as "staffing", "health inspections" etc. While this is a very valuable website to look at when choosing a Nursing Home for a family member, I strongly urge you not to base your opinion  entirely on this data. It is only a start. Read more about the limitations of these  guidelines at

Visit Nursing Homes In Person

Those in the know will tell you that you must actually go and visit each and every Nursing Home you are considering. What I found in so many Nursing Homes is that even though the lobbies were attractive and the receptionist in each place appeared  efficient and courteous ... something key was missing! In home after home that I toured, after I got past the entance way the total picture seemed to change.

As I toured many long term facilities, going floor to floor, in a very short time, I felt a sense of sadness and depression (and I was only visiting, imagine the residents who llive there). Something very critical was absent.  That something was a sense of LIFE! Read more to see if you can get what I mean.

What A Good Nursing Home Should Have

The long term care facility that I  really liked the most had the following characteristics that I share with you. 

As soon as I walked into the facility (that I will consider a "model" for what a good Nursing Home should have,  I was made to feel at home. I felt like I was walking into a family setting where several administrative staff members were bantering with each other and also with some of the ambulatory residents who were in the main lobby area. Their conversations were warm and engaging. Most striking was that all the residents of this facility looked well cared for; cheerfully dressed and busy; whether in bed, in the various dining areas, activity programs, clinical areas, or  bright and charming  windowed sitting areas.  The place was lively. There were other indicators of "life"...lots of healthy green plants, current magazines and newspapers displayed on prominent racks throughout  the facility, lots of display boards with hourly  activities written in large letters so residents could see what is going on each hour.There was obvious evidence that an informed Geriatric staff was paying attention to the real and holistic needs of their residents.

In The Nursing Home: What Do The Clinical Areas Look Like? 

In the "clinical areas" the staff wore colorful  uniforms and were truly  interacting with patients in respectful ways. When I was taken around by the Admission's director, she introduced me to the residents that we met along the way. She made the other patients feel like they were part of the community and that they had something valuable to offer. Staff communicated to residents professionally and not like children. I was introduced to ALL staff (nursing, dietary, activities, maintenance etc). I sensed that everyone that worked in this residence was valued and respected.

My guess is that the reason the residents in this facility looked better and appeared stronger is because of the tremendous efforts this long term residence is making to keep their residents oriented, active and involved in their care. There were no patients slumped over meal trays or"vegetating" alone  in beds with no sign of life in site.

I am convinced that older adults even with multiple health concerns can  thrive in the right nurturing environment. Like the green plants I saw sitting on the windowsills, older adults need to be cared for with   lots of attention, sunshine, nutrition, water and love. Visit many Nursing Homes before you make  this critical decision. Your instincts will lead you in the right direction.


C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists

1 comment:

  1. I own some of these things in my kitchen ! I realy love it ! , maybe you can take a look ?

    Lisa xx