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Finding the Right Geriatric Home

Don’t pick a geriatric home only for today’s needs. Find one that will also be able to meet the elderly person’s needs months and years onward. To make this possible, there are some major issues you need to consider.

Care Before Aesthetics

First of all, though a geriatric care home must be neat, clean and orderly, don’t forget that you are ultimately seeking GOOD CARE, not stunning interior design.
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Resident-Staff Interaction
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Pay attention to how residents and staff interact with each other. Does it look like the residents are happy and satisfied? Silent and withdrawn? Do the caregivers treat the residents as adults or more like kids?

If something feels wrong based on your observation, this may be a sign that the home is understaffed, or the staff do not fully understand the psycho-social needs of elderly people. To a huge extent, how the staff treat the residents will affect their quality of life in the home more than anything else.

Rental/Patient Agreement

Make sure you read the rental contract or patient agreement thoroughly. 41If you must, take it home with you. Go through the charges and watch out for extra charges. What are included and not included in the care contract? Forget about facilities that do not specify their basic and extra rates in writing. Also important for you to consider is how long ahead you’re expected to let them know about your plans to move a resident out of the facility, just in case you find reason to.

Food and Meals

Food is usually one of the few pleasures that geriatric home residents can enjoy on a day to day basis. If the food in the facility is bland or lacks variety, an elderly person’s quality of life can be seriously affected.

State Licensing Inspection Survey

Each geriatric home will have some violations, but what you should be concerned about are those that indicate poor patient care. On the other hand, a facility may have a lot of simple violations, but the fact that they were unable to solve so many small issues can also indicate a potential for much bigger problems in the future.

Director of Nurses

Geriatric homes will have a Director of Nurses, and it important that you talk to him or her before deciding on the particular facility. When you speak to the D.O.N., see if their philosophy of care is agreeable to you, and know how long that person has been working in that position.

It is the D.O.N. who sets the standards for care in a facility. If that professional is good at their job and has the support of management, then care must good in that home. Otherwise, you are more likely dealing with a facility with real care-related problems.