Here were discussed about nursing home care, particularly Characteristics of a Good Nursing Home for Diabetics.
Most of us hate the idea of putting our aged parents or relations in a nursing facility. We rather prefer for them to be independent and stay with us at home as long as possible. Unfortunately, as they age, their health and safety become a course for concern. Most of them will require special care and attention, which most times we may not be able to provide at home. These forces most of us into placing our love ones into nursing facilities as an option, so that they can get specialized medical care and support.
The Elderly with diabetes needs special care in terms of their diet, hydration, taking their medication, exercise and physical activities. This is because, the elderly with diabetes are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, dementia, depression and fall.
Their blood sugar level needs to be monitored daily for hyper or hypoglycemia, likewise their blood pressure. Their Feet need to be checked every day for any form of injury which may get infected and in a severe case lead to amputation. We need to ensure that our aged love ones take their medication and the right nutrition to help keep their blood sugar level under control.
Caring out these tasks is not that simple, you may need help, especially when your love one can no longer take care of themselves on their own.
A good nursing home will not only take good care of your aged diabetic family member, but provide them with the nutritious meal, administer their medication on time, monitor their blood sugar level and inspect their feet daily…etc. They will make use of professional strategies to help your aged loved one to achieve optimal glycemic control and prevent or manage the complications of diabetes.
What is a Nursing Home for Aged Care?
Nursing Homes for Aged Care are also known as convalescent homes, skilled nursing facilities, old people homes, aged care facilities or senior homes.
They are residential health care facilities that are mainly for the elderly who don’t need to be in a hospital but are not able to manage their daily living activities or struggling to take care of themselves.
Nursing homes provide both accommodations and medical care for the aged and make life more comfortable for them by assisting them with a range of daily living activities. These daily activities include;
- personal care,
- laundry and to moving around, and
- medical attention.
Some of the nursing homes provide both medical care, physical and mental therapy. Most nursing homes have nurses who are skilled in taking care of the elderly and nursing assistants on hand 24 hours a day.
Most nursing homes also offer specialized medical care which covers,
- Care for those with cognitive/ memory issues as a result of Alzheimer’s diseases, dementia, or not being able to process information.
- Those with serious health issues that need palliative care.
- Specialized care such as stoma care
- Caring for those that have behavioral issues, and
- Helping out for those need of rehabilitation.
The duration of stay in nursing homes varies. Some people are admitted to stay for a short period – 3 months or less. Most of the people admitted for short terms are mostly admitted for rehabilitation or end-of-life care. Others people are admitted for a longer period of care, for 5 years or over to cover latter years of their beautiful life journey.
Types of Nursing Homes
Here are some key types of nursing home facilities.
- Independent Living Communities
This a type of living arrangement for seniors who are independent and can look out for themselves but need someone who will check-in with them once in a while throughout the week.
This arrangement may include services like cooking, shopping and housekeeping.
Independent living community offers the most freedom, but least care and rarely have full-time medical or nursing staff.
- Assisted Living Facilities
They are facilities that offer assistance with daily living activities. Designed as apartment-style accommodations, residents usually live in their own rooms or apartments with shared common areas.
They are designed primarily to bridge the gap between independent living and nursing home facilities.
- Intermediate Care Facilities
Are facilities for seniors who are unable to take care of themselves because of declining health, mental or physical disability and need assistance with daily living activities without the requirement of skilled nurses or medical professionals.
- Skilled Nursing Homes
They are nursing facilities licensed by the federal and state government to provide medical and personal care service for seniors with serious illnesses or disabilities 24 hours a day. The staff in these facilities are skilled nurses, professional enrolled and registered nurses, and certified nursing aids.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
Also known as life care communities, are multi-levels care facilities that offer both accommodation and health care services to the aged.
Most of them offer independent accommodations, assisted living, skilled nursing care, healthcare services and recreation (lifestyle) programs all in one location.
- Hospice Care
This is to provide both home care and facility care to terminally ill patients and assist their families through their tough times. Most of the aged receiving care in these facilities are fighting through the last months of their lives.
- Adult Day Care
This sounds similar to children daycare programs. The program provides meals and takes care of seniors in a community setting during the day if the caregiver has to go to work or needs to take some time off.
Common Medical Problems of Aged Diabetic Patients
Aged diabetic patients, most especially those above 65 years of age, face a lot of physical and mental health challenges that may lead to their early death if not tackled adequately.
These conditions include many chronic diseases which are common in people of their age such as:
- cardiovascular diseases,
- high blood pressure and
- chronic pain,
- reduced mental capacity.
They require special medical care to improve their conditions and to live a pain-free and healthy life.
What is the Role of a Nursing Home?
The primary role of a nursing home is to provide skilled nursing care for those who are seriously ill or disabled. They take care of the personal and medical needs of the aged in the facility by ensuring that;
- They provide therapy and nutritional counseling.
- The residents maintain a high level of personal hygiene by assisting those of them who are having difficulty in carrying out the daily living activities by feeding meals, bathing them, combing their hair, brushing their teeth, shaving them, changing their clothes and doing their laundry…etc.
- Administer their medication at the right time, checking their vitals, giving them their injection and monitoring their blood sugar level.
- Assist the aged who need help to go to the bathrooms, inserting and emptying their catheters.
- Wound care
- Provide hospice care, respite care and end-of-life care.
Qualities of a Good Nursing Home
- The atmosphere is calm, comfortable and not chaotic. The interior is not looking plain and boring like a hospital but it rather has a home-like setting.
- They treat and address their residents with respect no matter their physical and mental health condition.
- They have adequate and well-trained staff.
- The staff are free, friendly, caring and supportive.
- They have different types of interesting physical, sports, social, baking and cooking, games, instructive and creative activities to keep the residents occupied.
- Socializing with other residents and people outside the nursing home is encouraged.
- The residents are served healthy and well-balanced meals. They also ensure that those who are on a special diet maybe because of their medical conditions, religious and moral beliefs have access to the type of food they need.
- Monitor and report any change in health conditions, eating habits or behavior be of any resident to the doctor or relatives.
- The residents have access to services like the mobile service to keep in contact with their friends and family; internet and television to stay updated on current news and things happening around them, and watch movies.
- The rooms and environment are clean and safe. The hallways and entryways well lit and clear of anything that can hurt or cause injuries to the residents.
- The environment is devoid of any bad odor. Nobody will be comfortable in an environment that stinks.
- Their residents are well-groomed and dressed neatly.
- Friends and family of the residents are welcome to visit. This will also prove they have nothing to hide.
How to Look for a Nursing Home with Good Qualities
When looking for a nursing home with high quality – do the research yourself. Ask questions and check for information online.
- Check for social reputation
Ask your doctor or people you trust such as relatives, friends, colleagues in your place of work, neighbors, religious leaders, hospital discharge planners, ombudsman programs and people living around you who may have admitted their love ones into a nursing home.
- Go through government records
Check your state online tools about long term care facilities. You can also check Medicare’s nursing home compare (in the USA). This site uses a star rating of 1 to 5 to compare nursing homes and post current inspection reports. In Australia, you can search My Aged Care site.
Although you may not be able to rely only on this rating because the ratings are only bases on staffing and audited quality data from nursing homes. The rating may not consider the violation of the standards and requirements of nursing homes which may be closer to your needs and heart.
- Check for the history
Check the inspection history of the facility you are considering for recent complaints, violation and penalties. You can use a site like California Health Facility Information Database (Cal Health Find Database) or ProPublica Nursing Home Inspect, a nonprofit site on the nursing home which provides data on the nursing home inspection, history, those with deficiencies and those that were fined.
- Check for online reviews
Use other website review such as yelp and go through an individual review of Google businesses on how the residents are cared for and treated. When using a review website, you have to be careful and use your personal discretion, because some of the reviews may be false.
- Proximity and practicality
Look for a nursing home that is located close to where you or any of your relatives is residing. This is to ensure that your aged family member is visited and checked on frequently by you or the other family members. But the important factor, after all, is that the facility should be of a high standard.
- Get a feel of it
Visit the facility to see for yourself, look at the residents to see how they are groomed, pay close attention to how the staff treat and relate with the residents. While there you can also talk to some of the residents or visitors, that will help you to get more information on how the care and how they treat the residents.
How to Identify a Good Nursing Home for Diabetes Care?
To find a good nursing home for diabetics, you can first start by asking your doctor to recommend any good facility for you. You can also ask friends, colleagues or neighbors who have diabetic family members who were admitted to a facility to recommend one that is good for you. You can also find out more about the facility by asking questions and personal observation, to find out if:
- It is licensed and certified by government state. Are there any current ‘unmets’?
- Has adequate staffing, staff who are certified, trained and experienced in handling and caring for diabetic patients.
- Do they have adequate policies for screening and managing for diabetes.
- Do they have a designed meal and care plan to meet the individual needs of diabetic patients?
- Do they have policy instructions for managing hypoglycemia? Do they adhere to the American Diabetic Association (ADA) guidelines for taking care of patients in a long term care facility?
- Do they inspect the feet of the residents who are daily to check for any injury, ingrown toenails or infections?
- Do they monitor and ensure that the diabetics take their medications at the right time
- Do they educate and assess their diabetic residents about hypoglycemia and the signs and symptoms?
- Is the environment safe, clean and comfortable?
- The residents looked well-groomed and taken care of.
- What are the services and activities they offer?
- Their cost
- The proximity of the facility.
You don’t need to secure a facility that will entail lengthy drives or you taking a flight, because it may affect the frequency of your visit.
Tip – Do you know what is a Care Plan? Here is the Care Plan for Type 2 Diabetes.
What are the Most Common Complaints about Nursing Homes?
The most common complaint about nursing homes include;
- Poor food quality.
The most common complaint in nursing facilities about the food provided is either the quality of the food is too poor, tasteless, cool or too small. This makes the residents to reject their meals.
Although it is not possible to prepare meals that will appeal to the taste of all the residents, it is very important for nursing homes to address the issue of the quality of the food it provides.
They should also ensure that the food
provided is not only healthy and nutritious but also tasty, warm/hot and appealing to the eyes.
- Delay or no response to the call bell or in-house calling systems
- Shortage of staff
Some of the facilities have mostly under-trained staff, and some don’t have enough staff to care, support and meet the needs of the residents. This makes the residents to feel ignored.
- Poor social interaction
This issue is prevalent where there is no enough staff to attend to the patients, chat with them and give them the support they need. This makes the residents to feel isolated and lonely.
There is a need for nurses and their sides to take residents outside to enjoy fresh air or to a common sitting area to interact with other residents, especially those that cannot move around on their own.
New residents should be introduced to the other residents so that they can get to know themselves better, interact with one another and not feeling lonely and isolated.
- Disruptions in sleep and privacy
This is another common complaint among the residents in nursing homes. The noise from the television, loud neighbors, conversations between workers and stopping to check the vital signs or to give medication, all can disrupt their sleep at night.
Disadvantages of Living in a Nursing Home
Like with anything, nursing homes also comes with some limitations attached.
- Nursing homes are expensive, especially for long term care.
- Moving a loved one from a familiar and comfortable home environment to a facility can lead to depression. Most of them tend to start feeling the absence of their family members. Even when you visit them regularly, most of them still feel lonely and isolated.
- It takes time for most of the resident to adjust to the new schedule of the facility. For some, it is as if they have lost their freedom and independence since they can no longer choose when to do what they want they want like when and what to eat.
- Probability of admitting a loved one into a substandard nursing home
Since most of the nursing homes are either under staff or their staff are untrained in, this can result in poor supervision, poor treatment negligence and the risk of an accident is also increased. To prevent this, it is very crucial that you carry out proper research before admitting you love one into a nursing facility.
Placing your aged parents or relative in a nursing home is one of the best ways to ensure that they are properly cared for and are safe. But, choosing a good nursing home for a loved one can be challenging. There were some incidences of early deaths at nursing homes due to negligence, poor staffing, poor care and treatments in some nursing facilities. So, if you are to go to entrust the care of a family member to strangers, you cannot just wake up one morning and decide to put a love one in any nursing home.
You have to consider the quality of the nursing home you are considering, to ensure that health, safety and well-being assured. And for you to be sure that the facility you have in mind is of a high standard, you have to carry out proper research yourself!