Selecting a nursing home for a beloved elder is never an easy decision, but the process will go much smoother armed with a little knowledge. 18 North Dakota nursing homes have earned a 5-star rating from US News 'Best Nursing Homes' rankings. This rating system looked at health inspections, nurse staffing and overall medical care. Further, North Dakota is home to one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the nation, Trinity Health, which is one of the few community hospitals to make the list.
Nursing Homes in North Dakota Defined
North Dakota nursing homes are defined as "... an institution or a distinct part of an institution established to provide health care under the supervision of a licensed healthcare practitioner and continuous nursing care for twenty-four or more consecutive hours to two or more residents..." Before a nursing home can be licensed to operate within the state, they must meet an inspection, the proprietor must pass an acceptable background check, and the initial license will last only one year. During that initial year, the facility will undergo periodic unannounced site checks to determine stringent compliance with state standards. Only after having successfully completed such spot checks and having successfully applied, may a renewal license be granted to the nursing home for the upcoming year.
Regulation of North Dakota Nursing Homes
Residents within North Dakota nursing homes can expect to have the supervision of at least one licensed health care practitioner, who will visit as often as medically required to support their unique healthcare needs and no less than once annually. Progress notes will be maintained within the facility. Neither physical restraints nor medications will be used to discipline or control the resident’s behavior outside of medically necessary treatment. The facility itself will provide residents with a clean, comfortable, well-maintained space that can fulfill their physical, functional and social requirements. This means they will have adequate space, suitable lighting and safety measures as well as services offered to stimulate and serve the needs of the residents. Quality improvement oversight is required by state law, so all North Dakota nursing homes are consistently working to improve the way they care for residents.
Aside from the required licensed physician serving as the medical director, all staff must undergo and the facility must maintain records of continuing education designed to ensure quality resident care. The topics of education include but are not limited to, safety procedures, prevention and control of infection, resident rights, and care of emotionally disturbed and/or confused residents. All nursing services are under the direction of a licensed RN and will be held to state standards of nursing care. There will always have a sufficient qualified nursing staff on duty at all times, including at least one RN on duty 8 hours per day, 7 days a week and at least one licensed nurse designated to work charge 24/7.
There is a qualified dietician supervising meal plans to ensure the best nutritional plan for residents and at least three meals, or the equivalent, are served at regular times on a daily basis. Bedtime snacks will always be made available. The food served is required to be both healthy and appetizing, while table service is provided for all residents who are able to utilize it. For those not able, proper eating equipment will be available and used. Other care team specialists are made available to support the well-being of all residents. This includes activities, therapies, and social services necessary to provide a good quality of life for residents.
Paying for Nursing Homes in North Dakota
North Dakota nursing homes are on the lower end of national costs for similar services, while still providing some of the highest standards of care. While full service nursing homes are an expense, it does ensure that an aging parent or loved one will have the full range of care necessary to support their health while still allowing them to retain a good quality of life.
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