When a family entrusts a senior facility or nursing home with the care of an elderly family member, the family expects the facility to provide proper and safe care. Unfortunately, some facilities do not always live up to that charge.
Some senior facilities may show signs of being unsafe from the beginning of a tour or closer examination. By recognizing these unsafe aspects initially, families may be able to avoid putting their loved ones in harm’s way unnecessarily.
A raised surface can be a tripping hazard for anyone, but tripping for a senior can be especially detrimental. Even a rug that is starting to rise at the ends can be dangerous to a senior who is unaware, and can lead to falling and serious injury. Check if the facility has any raised surfaces or mats. Also, note the sturdiness of any railing.
Similar to a raised surface, a spill can easily lead to a fall. Notice how the staff addresses spills. To avoid the scene becoming a more serious hazard, the spill should be addressed immediately. If you notice the staff takes their time, safety may not be a top priority, and it may not be the safest facility.
Even if a senior party’s health is failing, he or she is still an adult and may desire to exercise his or her independence at times. Though this is understandable, wandering can be quite dangerous for a senior who is not fully aware or has physical disabilities. This is particularly a concern for nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Every facility should have a protocol in place to prevent wandering, to begin with. Should it occur, the facility should have measures in place to find and secure the resident. Ask for a rundown of this process. Also, ask how they track residents regularly.
Though no facility may be perfect, some facilities are safer than others. A caring, attentive and nurturing staff helps to make a huge difference in a resident’s care.