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What questions should you ask about staffing?

When you make the decision that a loved one needs to go into a nursing home in Maryland, one of the best things to do is to sit down with a representative from the nursing home. A very important topic to discuss is staffing. It is the staff who will be spending the most time with your loved one and who will directly impact his or her quality of life. To ensure that the nursing home is the right place for your loved one, it can help to know more about the staff.

According to U.S. News and World Report, when you sit down with the nursing home representative, you should start by asking about the staffing ratio. Ideally, it should be low. You want to know that there are enough staff members to give your loved one enough attention and care and to properly be able to do so. A low staffing ratio also tells you the workers are not likely overworked or over stressed. Along those same lines, inquire about the average hours worked. Think of this as if you were the worker. Do the hours sound too high? This can be a red flag.

You also want to ask about turnover. If a facility has new staff members all the time, it can be difficult for the residents. You want to know that the staff are there for the long term and will be reliable. Ask also about the average time each staff member spends with each resident. This will help you to see if your loved one will get proper attention and not just be looked in on or rushed around.

Finally, find out about infection control practices and training. This lets you know that the staff is properly prepared to care for your loved one. This information is for education and is not intended as legal advice.

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