What are People Looking for in your Nursing Home?

by Laurence Kellett in Cleaning & Janitorial, Small Business Tips, Workplace Safety | posted:

As a Nursing Home, you’ll know that as well as your duties of providing care and assistance to your residents, is the task of showing round potential new residents. This is your ‘pitch’, so to speak, and if a potential new resident isn’t impressed, they’re probably not going to choose you as their desired home. Unless you’re completely full, the chances are that you’re going to want people to choose you as their desired Nursing Home.

This is why you’re going to want to make a good first impression. The question is, what impression is a good one? Here’s what people are looking for when they come to take a look around your Nursing Home, and why:

 

Cleanliness

It’s no surprise that people want the place that they will be sending their loved ones to, to be clean and tidy. Not only is it unhygienic and unsafe to have a messy or unkept nursing home, it is always a giant red flag that waves people away from your premises in a flash.

 

What can you do?

Nobody expects you to drown your care home with a pressure washer after every activity or meal, but a little TLC goes a long way, and upkeep is always easier than deep clean. Putting a rota in place to ensure that thorough scheduled cleaning of your premises takes place regularly will help to manage the inevitable mess that builds up.

 

Proper safety equipment and checks

Having all the correct safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, defibrillators, first aid kits, PPE or anything else is a vital part of running a nursing home, and your visitors and potential customers know that. Nobody is going to want to send their loved ones to a home that doesn’t have the correct safety equipment, and also doesn’t get them checked regularly to ensure their full working order.

 

What can you do?

As mentioned above, having all the correct safety equipment in place is only half the battle – making sure you regularly check and service things such as your electrical equipment, fire extinguishers, defibrillators and more is equally as important. An expired piece of safety equipment is just as useless as having none at all.

 

Suitable additions to aid the movement of residents

From major additions such as stair lifts or elevators, to little additions like handrails and lowered door handles – people looking round your home not only want to be able to navigate it themselves in a safe and orderly fashion, but they also want their loved ones, who may not be in the same physical condition, to be able to easily navigate too.

 

What can you do?

Make sure that your nursing home is as easy and safe as possible to navigate, for people of all ages, conditions, frailties, shapes and sizes. A few extra handrails here and there won’t break the bank, but it could be very limiting for certain residents, should you not have them.

 

Nursing-home-stairlift

 

The temperature of the home

It may not seem it, but the temperature of the home can play a big part in peoples perception of your home, however they will often only notice if something is out of the ordinary. If your home is too cold, or far too hot, this will raise some red flags amongst visitors. As well as this, if your rooms are individually adjusted to the preferences of your residents, this could be a big selling factor, as it shows you have attention to detail and personalise the experience per resident.

 

What can you do?

Ensure that the temperature in your home is a conformable medium, and follows your residents personal requirements or preferences, per room.

 

The general atmosphere

Without getting too philosophical with you, it’s difficult to put a price on happiness, and people will put the atmosphere of a home, and how happy and welcoming it seems, above most other factors, since they want the best for their loved ones. Creating a good atmosphere can go a long way towards not only keeping staff and residents happy, but also impressing any visitors you may have along the way.

 

What can you do?

There’s no secret recipe to creating a ‘good atmosphere’ – if there was then bars, pubs and restaurants would be using it by the bucket load. Simply create the most welcoming, friendly and caring environment you can (which we’re sure you already do, of course!)

 

The state of upkeep

Make sure everything works, from the faucets in the washrooms to the emergency call buttons, all the way down to the kettle. A well-kept care home says a lot about it’s management and care policies, and people certain judge a book by it’s cover – if the binding is broken, you’re on the back foot.

 

What can you do?

Run regular maintenance of your nursing home to ensure that every little item works as expected, and in a safe manner. A schedule that prioritises the checking and maintenance of more prominent or important items might work best.

 

Wheelchair accessibility

Almost all Nursing homes have wheelchair accessibility, but it is still something that people will take extra care to look out for when visiting your home. Are there any areas that aren’t wheelchair accessible? Do the ramps extend to all the grounds and garden areas, or just within the building? Is there facilities for wheelchair users to be safely and easily lifted into their beds, or into the washing facilities.

 

What can you do?

This one is fairly self explanatory – ensure that every area of your nursing home is wheelchair accessible, and that there are dignified ways of lifting people in and out of their wheelchairs.

Nursing-home-wheelchair

Appropriate security measures

Security isn’t something that always springs to mind when thinking of a Nursing home, however it is an important factor that can play heavily on the minds of visitors. Having peace of mind that their loved ones are safe inside the home is an understandable request.

 

What can you do?

No one expects you to have an army of fully trained ex-army security guards bordering your perimeter but you should implement small security considerations such as name tags, I.Ds, protected access to the home, and an appropriate way of monitoring who is where within the nursing home using various sign in procedures.

 

Visiting hours

You don’t need us to tell you that people often want to know what the visiting situation is like in your nursing home. Is it flexible? how long are the hours? Is there a limit to the number of people at a time? Do I have to pre-book or can I show up whenever I want within a certain time-period? All of these are valid questions from the point of view of a visitor who’s considering putting someone they love into your home.

 

What can you do?

Firstly, be completely open about your visiting hours – tell them exactly when they are, who is allowed and where, etc. If a visitor begins to question the reasoning behind your visiting rules, make sure that you explain to them the reason behind your visiting regulations.

 

Is the decor cold and uninviting?

A nursing home doesn’t have to look like what your visitors imagine a nursing home to look like. People have certain visualisations of nursing homes, and can picture them to be bland, monotone and uninviting. In many cases, this is completely untrue.

 

What can you do?

Spice up your care home a little bit. Add some colour, decorations, plants, paintings and other such decor to give it a spot of character.
Nursing-home-decor

 

The standard of food

Nobody is expecting your care home to have a michelin star restaurant integrated within it, but they do expect a healthy mix of good food, served 3 times a day, in adequately sized portions.

 

What can you do?

If you have the chance, offer to show guests round at dinner time, so that they get a chance to see your food being served, and maybe a peek at how it is prepared and cooked. This can help you show off not only the care and attention you give to each resident, but also the quality of your food, which is a vitally important part of any nursing home experience.

 

Finally, certifications

You can woo people all you like, but if you’re not certified or don’t have all the correct paperwork to hand to prove your legitimacy and qualifications, you may find that a lot of visitors smell something fishy and leave before you’ve had chance to get them out of the reception area.

 

What can you do?

Display your awards, certifications and relevant ratings in a prominent position for everyone to see. On the one hand, it shows you have the basic qualifications needed to look after their loved ones, and it goes that little bit further and can seal you the deal if you’ve got an impressive wall of certificates.

 

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