Relatives should take an active role in the care of family
members in rest-homes, and not just leave them alone, the
author of a new book about choosing a home says.
Retired registered nurse Jenny Moloney (70), of Wellington,
has co-written Decision Time with fellow retired nurse
Mrs Moloney said there was a lack of information to guide
people through a decision that was too often rushed.
When choosing a home for a relative, people should carefully
observe the smells, sights, sounds and general feel of the
Homes should not have the ''appalling'' smell that some did,
which often indicated washing or cleaning was not done
Relatives should regularly check residents' medication
programme, observe their general progress, and ask questions
of medical, nursing, and management staff.
''I think we need to depend on relatives a lot more. I know
you're paying a lot of money for the care, but you just can't
leave them in there.''
The book calls for mandatory staffing levels to be considered
because of evidence of instances of substandard care, and for
more opportunities for leadership from registered nurses.
At present, providers decided their own staffing numbers.