Senior Care News: 2 Changes in Nursing Home Policy for Residents and Families to Look Forward To

14 February 2017
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog

If a senior you love currently lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility, then you likely know that that there are many government regulations in place that ensure that seniors stay happy and healthy in the facilities. Just like other regulations and laws, they can change over time, and for the first time since 1991, CMS, or the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has updated nursing facility regulations to provide patients and families some great new benefits. Some of these changes are already in action and some will become requirements in 2017. Read on to learn about two policy updates that will help promote emotional well-being in seniors. 

1. Nursing Home Residents Will Soon Be Able to Have Visitors at Any Time of Day or Night

Even the most caring family is filled with adults and children who have busy lives and may not have as much time as they wish to visit their senior loved one frequently. These visits are important to a senior's emotional well-being. However, before the new regulations, some nursing homes restricted visiting hours, and this could make visiting a loved one in a nursing facility extra tough for family members who work long hours and may not get off work before nursing home visiting hours ended. 

A new nursing home regulation states that seniors in nursing facilities can have visitors at any time of day or night, as long as the visit does not disturb fellow patients. Facilities will also no longer be able to restrict visitors to only family members, so old friends will also be welcome to visit your loved one with their permission. If you work off hours and your senior loved one is a bit of a night owl, then this new regulation will allow you to visit them in the late evening and enjoy more time together. 

2. Residents Will Also Be Able to Choose Their Roommates

While many nursing homes do offer "single" rooms for residents, they can be too costly for many families to afford, and some seniors simply prefer living in a room with another person who they can make great friends with. However, before the new regulations, some nursing facilities did not allow residents to choose their roommates, but instead assigned roommates relatively randomly or grouped patients together with similar healthcare needs. 

While some seniors love their nursing home roommates, others just don't "hit it off" with them, yet meet great friends throughout the facility that they would rather share rooms with. If your senior loved one is not fond of their roommate, then you will love the news that a new nursing home regulation will allow seniors to choose their roommates based on preference alone. 

This means that if your senior loved one has made a great friend at their nursing facility and both would love to share a room, then their wish will be granted as soon as the regulation is in place. 

If you have a senior loved one who lives in a nursing facility, then you can look forward to these two new regulations that can help your senior live a more social lifestyle and may make visiting them much more convenient for your family. To learn more about these and other regulations going into effect, talk to a facility like Paramount Parks At Eagle.