Because nursing homes provide round-the-clock care for their elderly and chronically ill residents, they offer disparate services to promote individuals’ well-being. While the breadth of these offerings—daily meals, activities, supervision, and more—can overwhelm staff, these diverse functions present an opportunity too. By homing in on high-priority services, you can take your nursing home from average to superior. Discover how to improve your nursing home by reading this brief guide.
Revamp Your Food Service
First, one common complaint is a nursing home’s food. A constant risk with mass-produced meals is that the whole dining experience feels clinical. Bland dishes that don’t offend but also don’t taste exceptional are a mainstay. Beyond that, the simple lack of choice is hard for many residents to accept. Seniors, many of whom cooked whatever they wanted, now have little freedom.
To change things up, mimic a restaurant rather than a hospital. Funnel extra funds toward food service so you can offer multiple freshly made options each day. Also, taking residents’ orders beforehand gives them more control over their diet without misjudging how much to cook.
Enable Your Staff
In general, a great group of staff members makes your nursing home go ’round. Support them so they provide the absolute best care. Too often, nursing homes have a reputation for understaffing and worker burnout. Get ahead of this real risk by hiring on and generously compensating effective team members.
Also, give them clear means of communication. Ensure they know who to go to in an emergency. On top of that, implement a two-way radio network to quicken emergency responsiveness and provide other communication-based benefits for your nursing home. These methods repair faulty chains of communication that stress staff and cause them to doubt leadership’s ability to support them.
Give Residents a Lot of Input
Our final way to improve your nursing home is by looping residents into the decision-making process. People you care for can make educated choices, and doing so helps them take ownership of their life even as it looks very different.
The best facilities have open channels of communication—perhaps in the form of a weekly forum—in which residents can freely air concerns and propose changes. To incorporate outside family as well, give space for a family council so they can speak up for their loved ones, especially those without the ability to speak for themselves.