Nursing homes and long-term care facilities in the United States are home to millions of seniors. These facilities have a duty to provide competent care to residents. They must also provide comfortable accommodations that support the needs of aging populations. To ensure a level of comfort approaching that of a home setting, long-term care facilities can share tips with residents. This serves as a risk management approach that supplements the protection of nursing home insurance, helping to reduce some of the challenges caregivers and residents face in adjusting to new environments.
Transitioning to Long-Term Care
America’s senior population has grown to favor aging at home. Home life is more familiar and more comfortable for many individuals. There comes a point, however, when many of these people will need around-the-clock medical care and lifestyle support. Nursing homes fill this need, providing residents with healthcare and with assistance completing everyday tasks like bathing, cooking, and exercising.
The transition to a nursing home is not always a smooth process. Moving to a long-term care facility can be overwhelming for many seniors, ultimately leading to depression, anxiety, or declines in mental and physical health. If these challenges are not addressed, the risk of a serious incident or liability claim against nursing home insurance rises. To help alleviate these transitional challenges, nursing home managers and staff are able to share tips with residents, allowing them to regain a sense of comfort in an unfamiliar environment.
Adding Personalized Touches
The first and most effective step in improving residents’ perception of a long-term care facility is to offer residents an opportunity to add personalized touches. Residents can bring treasured items from home to decorate their living spaces. Some of the most forward-thinking care facilities allow their residents and family members to set up rooms before the official move-in. The following items can help produce a sensation of familiarity and of comfort:
- Bedding and pillows – nothing promotes comfort like a well-loved pillow, quilt, or bedspread from home.
- Curtains – provide privacy for residents while allowing for a splash of color or style in residential rooms.
- Loungewear – if a person prefers wearing a comfy bathrobe or slippers, these items should be brought to the facility prior to move-in. The same goes with casual clothing to make residents feel more at home.
- Decorative items – room decorations can include lamps, framed photographs, artwork, and knick knacks from home. Each of these items makes a small but measurable contribution to improving sensations of comfort in the new living environment.
Nursing home staff face many challenges as they deliver medical care and lifestyle support to residents. In addition to having healthcare skills, some of the best long-term care staff possess communication and relationship skills that foster a sense of resident comfort. Facility managers should stress the importance of building relationships with residents – especially those new to the facility – and take the time to get to know each resident’s preferences and concerns.
Staff interaction is also critical for encouraging participation in activities. New residents may feel overwhelmed; the fastest way to get them to feel more comfortable is to engage with them during activities. The best facilities include dozens of scheduled activities and excursions, helping to keep residents more engaged and producing a superior quality of life.
Improving the Nursing Home Comfort Perception: Added Benefits
In a competitive marketplace, long-term care facilities often struggle to stand out from other residential care centers. Perceptions among potential residents can make or break a facility; most people evaluate a facility before agreeing to move in. So, adding comfortable touches not only benefits the residents of facilities, but also improves the facility’s reputation as a place that is inviting, supportive, and more like home. This competitive advantage cannot be overlooked; positioning the facility for continued growth and success is almost as important as nursing home insurance for managing operational risks. Nursing homes should take the steps needed to provide more comfortable and home-like environments for their residents. Doing so is easy and the process provides significant benefits for residents and facility owners alike.
About Caitlin Morgan
Caitlin Morgan specializes in insuring assisted living facilities and nursing homes and can assist you in providing insurance and risk management services for this niche market. Give us a call to learn more about our programs at (877) 226-1027.