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Necessary Services

While in a nursing home, residents should feel completely comfortable, safe, and at home. This can be a challenge for nursing homes. But, offering services is vital to a positive nursing home experience. These are 10 services that your nursing home should provide.

Religious Services

Nursing homes should provide the religious and spiritual needs and desires of their residents.

The nursing home should meet the spiritual and religious needs of all residents. Religious needs oftentimes include:

  • Access to religious services.
  • Access to a religious leader for guidance.
  • Last rites.
  • Bible study or a way to share faith with others.
  • Accommodations for certain dietary restrictions.
  • Access to religious texts.
  • Religious sacraments (such as baptism, confession, etc.)

Most nursing homes do, in fact, provide all or most of these services. But, spiritual needs can be more difficult to understand and meet. Spirituality is any action that provides healing or meaning in one’s life. People can find spirituality in various forms. A few examples include exercise, music, art, the company of loved ones, meditation, etc. A nursing home should encourage residents to explore their spirituality in a safe way. If your parent is religious or spiritual, consult nursing home staff members. Talk about what services they will provide to enable your loved one to meet all of their spiritual needs.

Food Services

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Along with how residents get treated while in the dining hall, it is important to take a look at the food itself. If the nursing home staff would allow you a sample that would be even more beneficial. But, just the look of food says a lot about it. Does it seem like something you would enjoy eating? Is it served on paper plates or are real plates used? You should make sure that the food is appetizing and that residents get it in an appealing way.

Nutrition is also an important thing to consider when looking at the foods. You should ensure that the food that your parent could eat has a high nutritional value. The food should help them support a healthy lifestyle. Take note of the types of foods served. Are they high in nutritional value, such as vegetables and protein? Or are there a lot of cheap carbohydrates served such as rice and pasta?

See if you can find the menu used in the past week or month, this will give you a good idea of what a typical meal will be. Make sure that the same meals are not served often during the week. A variety is important for a healthy lifestyle. It is also important to make sure that there are alternatives to the meal served. There should be options for those with allergies, lifestyle choices such as vegetarianism, and any other dietary restrictions.

Physical Therapy

If your parent has been injured, or if years of wear and tear have resulted in limited mobility, they will need physical therapy. This will enable them to be more mobile and in turn more comfortable and independent.

Social Services

Social services should be available to all residents in a nursing home. This gives quality care for residents. It also will give them an outlet if they feel they are mistreated, abused or neglected. Some common examples of social services include:

  • Counseling
  • Improved care.
  • Improved living conditions.
  • Someone to talk to in the event of neglect or abuse.

Social services should get contacted if your parent feels neglected or abused. This should also happen if they have difficulty adjusting to being in a nursing home. Before choosing a home, make sure that social services get provided for all residents.

In Home Services

If your parent needs serious medical care often, the nursing home should be able to supply such care. Receiving care in the nursing home as opposed to getting sent to a hospital will save both stress and money. If your parent can be treated in the nursing home, it will be easier for you to get to know who is treating them. It will be easier for you to talk to them about any concerns you may have.

Make sure you talk to the nursing home staff about what medical services they can preform. You can also speak with the director of operations about the equipment the nursing home has access to.


While spending time at the home, ask about what activities are offered to residents. Nursing home residents have social needs as well as medical ones. Ask the nursing home staff if there is a certain time that residents will have a chance to take part in activities.

Outdoor Activities

When visiting a nursing home, be sure to check out the outdoor space that is available for residents to use. Do elderly people seem happy to be using this space? Is the space actually being utilized? When choosing a nursing home, you will want to be sure that your parent has full access to going outside. Be sure to see if nursing home residents are partaking in activities such as:

  • Going for a walk.
  • Gardening.
  • Fishing.
  • Reading by a lake.
  • Organized activities, such as yoga, golf, etc.
  • Yard games such as bocce, croquet, shuffleboard, etc.

Being able to remain active is good for your parent both physically and mentally. Outdoor activities can make a world of difference to those living in a nursing home. Be sure your mom or dad will be able to venture outside when deciding on nursing home.


Growing older and having declining health can effect the mental health of a person. When visiting a nursing home, be sure to see if therapy is offered to residents. This can help your mom or dad to be able to express their feelings in a safe environment. It can also help them to realize that they are not alone and have resources available to them.

Staff Training

Before working in a nursing home, staff members should be properly trained. Even experienced nurses will not immediately know how a particular nursing home operates. So, it is important to receive training. This will enable staff members to communicate to ensure that your loved one gets the best care. Be sure to ask the director of operations about the training process for new employees. Being thorough in this process is essential.

Continued Staff Training

Ensuring that new staff members are properly trained is only the first step in staff training. Laws, rules, and health practices are always changing. Because of this, it is important to know that nursing home employees are trained well. Be sure to ask the Director of Operations about continued staff training for employees. Remember that it is important for all nursing home staff to receive updated training. If it is evident that every staff member must fulfill a certain amount of training per year, this is a good sign.


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