Trying to choose a nursing facility for your loved one can be a very stressful process as you want to make sure they will be happy and safe.
While there are lots of things you should consider, one of your top priorities should be to consider the level of security in the facility.
Here are some tips, so you can find the safest nursing home for your loved one as possible.
Staff to Patient Ratio
No matter how great the security system a facility has, the frontline of a good security system begins with the staff.
Even if the doors have alarms on them, by the time a patient has triggered the alarm, it might be too late.
It is important that the facility have an adequate amount of staff, so each patient can receive the maximum attention and supervision they need.
A sufficient staff-to-patient ratio should be at least 1:2.
If you have a loved one who suffers from dementia or any other type of mental illness, then you know all too well how they can sometimes wander and even become lost.
Having a loved one who is in a debilitated mental state is almost like having a child; therefore, the same precautions need to be taken.
Not only is this important so residents don’t go out, but the windows should be secure enough that an intruder cannot get in.
In most cases, residents will have to share their room with another patient. The problem arises when one resident is not respectful of the other’s belongings and takes their things.
Because you want your loved one to be as comfortable in their new home as possible, you might want to provide them with nice clothes, electronics, or even jewelry.
If this is the case, having a closet with a lock or adequate storage would be ideal.
This is especially important since residents with Alzheimer’s may not be able to keep track of their belongings and fear theft.
Take Note of the Layout
How the facility is designed is important when it comes to getting residents out in the event of an emergency.
Take a look at where the exits are, how many exits you see, and how easy they are to access.
While you want your loved one to be able to get to safety rather quickly, you also don’t want them to have such easy access to an exit as well.
Ask About Resident Rooming
This is probably one of the least asked questions when touring a nursing home, and probably one of the most important.
Your loved one will be living with and sleeping next to a total stranger for the duration of his or her stay.
It is important that you know how the facility determines what residents will room together or if the pairings are just random.
The last thing you want is for your immobile parent to be paired with someone who suffers from mental illness and has violent tendencies.
Ask About Their Protocol
In order to ensure the safety of all residents, there should be a protocol for how the facility handles certain situations.
For instance, ask them how they handle the following:
- Are all visitors required to sign in before they are allowed entry?
- Can residents check themselves out?
- Can random people visit or must they be on a visitor’s list?
- Are there cameras that log who comes in and out of the building?
If you want to ensure that your loved one is being kept safe, then you need to know how the facility is being run
When property owners fail to install adequate security measures, it increases the risk of harm to the residents.
When you are doing your tours, make sure you have a list of all of your questions and concerns, so you don’t forget anything.
In order for you to really know what things you should be looking for, you should consider what your loved one’s daily life is currently like.
This can help you determine what type of environment would probably work best for them.
Just remember that this process should not be rushed, and you should thoroughly vet all potential facilities before making a decision.