Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is a big decision. You want to find a place where they will be well cared for and happy. Here are three things to look for:
1. Visit the nursing home
There is no substitute for visiting the nursing home in person. Use all of your senses when you’re there. Do the residents look like they’re being well cared for? Is the place clean and smell nice? Do the staff members seem friendly and attentive?
Here are some specific things to look for:
- Cleanliness: The nursing home should be clean and free of odors. Pay attention to the floors, walls, and furniture. Are they clean and well-maintained?
- Staffing: Observe the interactions between the staff and the residents. Are the staff members friendly and attentive? Do they seem to know the residents well?
- Residents: Do the residents look happy and well-cared for? Are they dressed in clean clothes? Are they hydrated and well-fed?
- Activities: Does the nursing home offer a variety of activities for the residents? Are the activities appropriate for the residents’ abilities and interests?
2. Do your research
Once you’ve visited a few nursing homes, it’s time to do some research. Look for online reviews, talk to other families who have loved ones in nursing homes, and contact your local ombudsman’s office.
Here are some specific things to research:
- Licensing: Is the nursing home licensed by the state?
- Complaints: How many complaints has the nursing home received in the past year? What were the complaints about?
- Staffing: What is the staff-to-resident ratio? Are the staff members licensed and certified?
- Quality of care: What are the nursing home’s quality of care ratings? You can find this information on the Medicare Nursing Home Compare website.
Location is another important factor to consider when choosing a nursing home. You want to choose a nursing home that is close to your home and to the hospital of your choice. This will make it easier for you to visit your loved one and to get them the care they need if they need to be hospitalized.
Here are some specific things to consider:
- Distance: How far is the nursing home from your home? How long will it take you to get there?
- Traffic: Is the nursing home located in a high-traffic area? This can make it difficult to visit your loved one, especially during rush hour.
- Public transportation: Is there public transportation available to the nursing home? This is important if you don’t have a car or if you don’t want to drive.
- Hospital: How close is the nursing home to the hospital of your choice? This is important if your loved one needs to be hospitalized.
Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following these three tips, you can find a nursing home that is right for your loved one.