Researching a nursing home has always been a challenging task that deserves a thoughtful approach from the family and caregivers. The pandemic has added another layer of questions and considerations, beyond the standard research.
There are questions that need to be asked beyond those about basic level of care, budget, or the facility or staff. Family members need to understand how a nursing home facility is handling the spread of infection, and what steps are being taken to keep everyone safe.
Questions for Researching a Nursing Home During the Pandemic
- How much personal protective equipment do you have? How do you use it? – Supplies may not be equal among nursing homes, and some may use it more than others.
- What is the protocol when a staff member has the virus? How often are they tested for it? – The staff are the only people freely entering and exiting the building. It’s important to know how the facility handles the situation when staff members contract Covid.
- What type of isolation procedures does the facility have to control infection? – It’s important to understand whether your loved one would be kept in the same room with someone who has the virus.
- What policies may change after residents receive the vaccination? – This situation is temporary, although it may not always feel like it. How much will change once residents start receiving the vaccinations is an important consideration to make. It’s also important to consider that scientists are still unsure whether someone who has been vaccinated can transmit the virus.
- What are mask procedures within the building? – It’s important to make sure that the staff takes the spread of the disease seriously, and protects residents and staff with masks.
- Can residents talk with family members via cell phone? – Lockdowns are incredibly isolating. How much they’ll let loved ones speak is an important consideration to make.
Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe
Families send their loved ones to nursing homes so that they can receive a higher level of care that they are unable to provide at home. It’s important that they receive that level of care, even during these adverse conditions. Researching a nursing home during the pandemic simply takes a few more questions related to care levels during the pandemic.