Health

Discover 8 Ways to Ensure Quality Care for Loved Ones

Ensuring quality care for our loved ones is one of the most important responsibilities we have. As our parents, grandparents, and other family members age or face health challenges, we want to make sure they receive compassionate and attentive care. Finding and accessing quality care can be difficult, but being proactive and informed can help. 

Below are some ways you can ensure your loved ones get the quality care they deserve. 

1. Do Your Research

Choosing a care facility or hiring home care for a loved one is a big decision that requires diligent research. Don’t just rely on a facility’s glossy brochure or website. Make sure to visit potential facilities in person, meet staff members, and ask lots of questions. Also, observe how staff interacts with residents during your visit cio magazine. 

Review the facility’s state inspection reports to check for any violations or deficiencies. Make sure to look at online reviews and talk to other families about their experiences. If considering home care, thoroughly vet agencies by asking about training requirements, turnover rates, and how they supervise caregivers. 

The more informed you are upfront, the better equipped you’ll be to make the right choice for your loved one’s needs and avoid issues down the road. Taking the time to do in-depth research prevents problems and leads to quality care.

2. Stay Involved

Don’t just drop your loved one off at a facility and disappear. Plan to visit frequently to check in and spend quality time together. Attend scheduled care conferences to discuss health updates. While you’re there, consistently monitor for signs of quality care and potential neglect. 

A concerning symptom of negligence is the onset of a stage 4 bedsore. These serious sores are largely preventable with proper care and attention, and their presence can indicate a lack of adequate oversight. Ensure you understand the measures the facility has in place to prevent such complications and advocate for prompt action if you identify any signs. 

The more proactive you are in addressing concerns early, the more effective your interventions can be. Provide updates on doctor appointments, family matters, or other events that may impact your loved one’s well-being. Continue to give candid feedback to staff about what’s working well and any areas needing improvement. Your hands-on involvement and continuous vigilance help in ensuring the quality of care your loved one receives.

3. Prioritize Needs and Preferences

When choosing care, it’s important to consider your loved one’s unique needs, personality, lifestyle, and preferences. Make a list of must-haves based on their health conditions, mobility limitations, and personal care needs. Do they require specialized medical care or therapy services? Are they very social or more private? What kind of activities do they enjoy? 

Determining your priorities helps narrow your search to facilities or agencies that fit your loved one best. While location and cost are factors, don’t let those drive your decision alone. Identifying and prioritizing needs leads to quality care tailored to your loved one’s well-being.

4. Meet the Caregivers

The caregivers will have the most hands-on interaction with your loved one, so meet and observe staff members during your facility visits. Introduce yourself to nurses, aides, and other frontline workers and ask about required training and turnover rates, which can impact quality of care. 

Observe how the staff interacts with residents – are they patient, compassionate, and attentive, or seem rushed? Experienced caregivers who connect with residents personally are vital for quality care. 

If using a home care agency, meet the caregiver candidate in person before hiring to ensure a good match with your loved one. Getting to know the caregivers sets expectations for compassionate care.

5. Communicate Expectations Clearly

Developing strong, collaborative relationships with a facility’s care team or home care agency is key to quality care. Have an introductory meeting to thoroughly communicate your expectations and share important details about your loved one’s health conditions, daily routines, food preferences, hobbies, and personal likes and dislikes. Provide insight into their personality and past experiences that will help the care team best interact with and care for them. 

Also, ask questions to understand protocols, procedures, and communication methods. For example, how often will staff provide updates? How are changes in condition communicated? The more information you provide upfront, the better equipped the care team will be to deliver personalized, attentive care. Maintaining open communication channels with care providers sets the stage for quality care.

6. Know Your Rights

Educate yourself on federal and state laws and regulations that protect your loved one’s rights as a patient and resident. Nursing facilities must adhere to detailed care standards under CMS guidelines. 

Home care agencies have standards as well. If you observe lapses in care or quality standards not being met, don’t hesitate to file formal grievances to the facility or agency management as well as state regulatory bodies. Your advocacy is powerful in demanding accountability and recourse when lapses occur. 

7. Cultivate Relationships

Maintaining close relationships between your loved one and family/friends nurtures emotional health. Encourage loved ones to visit often to provide companionship and social interaction. If they live far away, help set up frequent video calls. 

For family members who can visit in person, attend a meal or activity together. Brief visitors on any health or cognitive issues to ease interaction. You can also send photos or updates to keep distant relatives involved and schedule visits around special occasions like birthdays or holidays. Even if your loved one struggles to remember people, the social bonds are still meaningful. Seeing familiar faces combats loneliness and brightens spirits. Your efforts to cultivate relationships ensure your loved one feels remembered and loved.

8. Provide Oversight

While you can’t be physically present 24/7, there are ways to provide oversight and peace of mind from afar. Many care facilities have security cameras you can access via app to discreetly check in anytime. 

Choose a home care agency that provides supervision of caregivers through periodic quality assurance visits and hire a geriatric care manager to visit and report on your loved one’s wellbeing. Also, schedule frequent video calls with staff to get verbal updates. 

Oversight provides awareness but avoid being overbearing. Focus on open communication to prevent small issues from becoming major problems. Reasonable oversight and collaboration with staff helps maintain quality care even when you can’t be there in person.

Conclusion

Caring for our loved ones in their time of need is a privilege. While finding quality care can feel daunting, being proactive and using these tips will help you every step of the way. Do your homework, communicate clearly, stay involved, and provide oversight. Advocating and speaking up ensures your loved one receives attentive, compassionate, and dignified care.