Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Good Questions to Ask a Nursing Home Staff

In addition to asking your loved one some questions to find out if they are receiving the best possible care, you may also want to consider asking the staff some questions.  These problems are even more important if your loved one has a pre-existing medical condition, such as dementia, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s. 

Ensure that your loved one appears happy.  Make sure they aren’t showing any signs of being depressed, and are making the adjustment to living in a nursing home facility smoothly.  If there are problems, talk to the staff about what they are planning to do to resolve these issues.

Here are some good questions to ask the staff:
  • Is your loved one being social, and regularly interacting with the staff and other residents?
  • Are they getting their medication as prescribed?  Make sure your loved one is receiving his or her medications at the proper times to avoid complications, and unnecessary risk.
  • Are they eating the right meals?  Make sure the staff is keenly aware of any medical conditions, and has adjusted your loved one’s diet accordingly.  For example, if they have a heart condition make sure they are kept on a low-sodium, low-fat diet.
  • Have any of their medications changed?
  • Is your loved one getting enough exercise?  Make sure that they are getting out of their room, and staying in good physical condition.  This can help them work through some of the stress that comes with living in a nursing home facility, and help promote a healthier lifestyle.
Keep up-to-date with your loved one’s time in the facility.  If they had a recent accident, health issue, or behavioral problem talk to the staff and make sure that the issue was resolved properly. 

Lastly, make sure you’re doing your part.  Be a reliable resource for the staff.  If they have questions about your loved one’s medical history or personality, make sure you’re available to answer all of their questions.  The best way to ensure that your loved one is getting the care that he or she deserves is by working with them, as well as the staff to better understand their needs.

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