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How clean is the nursing home you are considering for Mom?

If you believe the time has come for your elderly mother to enter a nursing home, your first consideration will be about the level of care she would receive.

Your next thought should be about the facility itself. Does the nursing home you have in mind maintain a clean, sanitary environment? Does it comply with state regulations?

Taking a tour

The first thing to remember is that a nursing home is a business, and all businesses have to keep an eye on the bottom line. They will cut corners where they can, but you hope that does not affect the care they provide to patients. You should plan to take a tour of the facility you are thinking about for your mother, and when you do, check the cleanliness factor. In the state of Missouri, the Department of Health and Senior Services sets forth regulations that long-term care facilities must follow.

Paying attention to outside maintenance

Walkways and driveways should have surfaces of asphalt, concrete or gravel treated to minimize dust. There must be no litter on the premises. The only poisonous materials permitted are those for controlling insects and rodents or for cleaning and sanitizing equipment. There should be clear labels on containers, and garbage should be in a storage area and disposed of regularly to discourage attracting unwanted insects and critters.

Inspecting for inside cleanliness

The rooms in the nursing home should have adequate ventilation. Excessive heat, bad odors, vapors and condensation should never be present in the rooms. The floors, walls, windows and ceilings should be clean and well-maintained. Light fixtures, wall-mounted fans and vent covers should also be clean and properly maintained. All plumbing should be maintained according to the National Plumbing Code.

Raising concerns

If the administration and staff of a nursing home do not care for the environment properly, it could be detrimental to patients. For example, your mother could slip and fall if staff failed to clean up a spilled beverage. All facilities must adhere strictly to Department of Health and Senior Services regulations. However, it is important to thoroughly check out any such facility before making the final choice for your Mom.