Choosing a senior home for a loved one can be one of the most difficult decisions in life and is one that cannot be taken lightly. Careful research is necessary to make the right choice. The following advice can help you make the right decision for both your loved one and your entire family.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recommends beginning your search by asking friends and family members that have loved ones in senior homes for recommendations. Your doctor can also clue you in to facilities that are worth a look or should be avoided. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services also maintains a comprehensive database of senior homes throughout the state. The site is a great resource for comparing facilities and should be consulted by anyone considering a Texas senior home. The database includes a history of facility inspections and lists any infractions that have occurred. This information is vital for ensuring the safety and well-being of your loved one.
Visiting potential senior homes is essential. If possible, drop in unannounced to get a real view of life in the facility. When you first arrive, take note of the smell and cleanliness of the home. A visual inspection can quickly reveal substandard sanitation policies.
Even if the home appears flawless, keep in mind that decor is only a small part of what makes a good senior home. Take the time to speak with residents without staff supervision. Ask them what they like and dislike about the home. Interacting with residents in this manner is the best way to get a feel for a facility.
While on your visit, pay attention to the way staff and residents interact. A positive relationship is necessary to ensure patient's receive the very best care. Patients that seem withdrawn or depressed may indicate a negative relationship. Staff members should treat residents as adults, not children, and should be committed to the psychological health of their charges.
Sit in on a meal at the facility and observe the way patients are served. Don't hesitate to sample the meal yourself. Food should be nutritious, tasty, fresh and properly served. Ask how the facility handles patients with special dietary needs and if healthy snacks are available throughout the day.
Speak to the Director of Nurses to understand the facility's values and mission. The director is responsible for setting high standards of care at the home and should be able to answer any questions you have. Ask about the director's experience and qualifications and inquire about the facility's turnover rate for staff. A high turnover rate indicates unhappy staff members and often means inadequate care for patients.
Ask about the activities offered at the senior home. A diverse array of activities can allow residents to have fun, form relationships with other residents and staff and engage in new interests. Ask how holidays and birthdays are celebrated and what religious services are offered.
Finally, ask about emergency procedures and safety protocols. Ensuring the mental and physical safety of residents is of utmost importance and a good Texas senior home will make it a priority. When visiting, take note of the number of fire extinguishers and posted disaster plans. Does the facility conduct regular fire and tornado drills? Look for obstacles in hallways and clear signs pointing toward exits and stairways.
A visit to a senior home can give you more information about the facility than any report. Do not skip this important step in choosing a home for your loved one. Above all else, trust your instinct. If you experience negative feelings during your visit, move on to the next facility. With so many options in Texas, you will find a senior home that fits all of your needs.
We'll help you find the answers you are looking for in finding which senior living option will best fit your needs.