A good nursing home should sit at the intersection of a hospital and a warm, comfortable home. In order to do that, nursing home staff and management must focus on optimizing patient care with the best possible tools and amenities. Here’s a list of some of those essential tools and amenities.
Medication Management Services
One of the problems that many elderly patients face is managing all of their medication, pills, and vitamins. This can be a full-time job and, if patients take the wrong things, it can also be very dangerous. Good nursing homes should always provide hands-on medication-management services, tools, and guidance for their patients to make things as easy as possible.
This one is simple: Nursing home staff should have two-way radios.
Two-way radios are an essential tool in the health provider’s kit. It’s a very good sign at any medical facility if staffers are sporting two-way radios. Why? Because it means they are maintaining constant communication with one another and are doing their best to monitor and assist patients in a methodical and organized way.
If a patient needs help, it’s important that their care-providers are able to quickly and easily contact the appropriate people.
When comparing nursing homes, it’s important that the facility does not have a cold and sterile feel. While yes, it is important for medical professionals to be on-site and for the facility to be kept clean and in order, the overall environment of a nursing home should be one of comfort and safety. Such an environment is incredibly important in maintaining the health and mental wellness of its tenants.
Many elderly residents of nursing homes love to exercise. It’s even better if they can do it in groups. Working out, obviously, has many physical benefits. These include building and maintaining muscle mass, strengthening the cardiovascular system, maintaining flexibility, and even improving cognitive function. Group exercise, though, has even more benefits and can also have an enormously positive impact on the psychological wellness of all those involved.
A solid entertainment schedule is critical in any great nursing home. Typically, the best nursing homes and elderly care facilities provide a mixture of live shows as well as movies and games that are rotated, updated, and regularly changed. This should include more than just Bingo! The activities should be a mix of new and old movies as well as comedy, magic shows, and other fun entertainment.
The best nursing homes are including massage as one of their services. Many elderly patients have chronic aches and pains which can be greatly reduced by massage, especially when incorporated into a regular, weekly routine. Something worth considering is whether or not your parent or grandparent’s nursing home includes an option for weekly massages.
Salon and Barber Shop
Just because elderly patients are old does not mean they stop caring about their appearance. Continuing to look one’s best is an important part of maintaining psychological wellness—modern nursing homes and elderly care facilities include salon and barber shop services for their patients.
Swimming, whether independently or in a class, is a great exercise activity. The pool offers a fun, friction-free way for elderly residents to exercise without straining their bones and joints. Swimming is shown to improve heart function, reduce bad cholesterol, strengthen muscles, and more.
Just because a nursing home may provide internet access does not mean it should skimp on the library. There is something about actual physical books that many elderly patients love and enjoy.
Ongoing education as well as fun art, cooking, and other classes are a great way to keep residents healthy, social, and in good spirits.
Nursing homes should be a place for elderly men and women to find community, feel safe, and have fun. Although most nursing homes provide basic needs, providing above and beyond those things ensures that the elderly maintain their quality of life even as they age.