July 11, 2017
Sometimes a nursing home is necessary for a short period of rehabilitation following a hospital stay or because a person’s health has deteriorated to a point where the individual can no longer remain at home.
The need for a nursing home may arise suddenly, leaving the family little time to choose the best facility.
Although an internet search regarding prospective facilities is a good starting point, an internet search is not enough. One site we have found helpful is http://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare.
Comparing the ratings of various facilities is helpful, but it is also really important to make personal visits to prospective facilities to select the appropriate nursing home.
Here are some suggestions for how to evaluate the place you visit:
- 1. Determine whether the facility has the services required to meet the special needs of the prospective resident.
- 2. Identify those nursing homes that are close to home or work for those who will regularly visit the resident.
- 3. Survey visitors of residents of the prospective nursing home in the parking lot or hallways to determine what they think of the facility.
- 4. Be certain that the nursing facility appears clean and odor free.
- 5. Look for a nursing facility that is physically attractive and cheerful.
- 6. Observe whether the staff appears to interact with the residents in an attentive, friendly and professional manner.
- 7. Be sure that the food tastes good and is presented to the residents in an attractive fashion.
- 8. Determine whether the staff involves the residents in a variety of activities.
- 9. Confirm there are no important outstanding safety issues at the facility.
A person entering a nursing home needs an advocate. Advocates can only make good decisions based on good information. You will be in the position to choose the nursing home that best meets the needs of your loved one once you have investigated all potential facilities.