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Top 7 Qualities of a Good Nursing Home

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Updated June 15, 2007

Most seniors and their families plan on staying their own homes for as long as possible, but when that becomes impossible due to health or safety concerns a nursing home will need to be chosen.

While not all nursing homes are good there are many fine facilities nationwide that provide excellent care. Know what to look for during your search and you may prevent heartache in the future.

The following qualities of a good nursing home with help you to choose the best one you can find.

1. Respect

Residents are treated with respect, no matter what their physical or mental condition may be. All staff should be friendly, caring and supportive while providing required care. The privacy of residents should be respected by all staff by doing simple things by knocking on doors before entering and by clear communication of all procedures etc.

2. Activites

There should be a variety of social, physical and educational activities available that will appeal to all residents. Interaction with the community outside the nursing home should be encouraged with community groups being encouraged to visit and planned group activities for outside events. Residents should be busy with things to do and places to go. Exercise classes, games and dance classes are examples of activities that should be plentiful on the schedule.

3. Good Food

Well-balanced attractively prepared meals should be available and served in a pleasant setting with social interaction. If residents need special meals due to health problems, eating difficulties or due to ethnic or cultural likes and dislikes they should be available. Staff should be monitoring nutritional intake and notify family and/or physician if the resident is eating poorly or having difficulty eating.

4. Homelike Surroundings

Every effort should be made to keep the nursing facility homelike and comfortable for the residents. Residents should be able to use some furnishings from their home in their rooms. Many seniors enjoy gardening and the addition of a resident kept garden can help make a senior feel more at home.

5. Amenities

Nice extras that nursing homes may provideinclude beauty salons and barber shops. Residents may feel a higher sense of well-being if they are able to feel good about their physical appearance. Internet access is another nice service and is becoming more readily available in nursing facilities. This opens up a whole new world of communication for seniors.

6. Safe and Clean Environment

Hallways and doorways should be clear of obstacles that could cause injury and should be well lit. You should not notice a smell of urine or feces. Residents should be cleanly dressed and groomed.

7. Openness

Families and potential residents should encouraged to drop in "anytime" (within reason - midnight is not the time for a visit) to see that there is nothing to hide.

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