Finding a nursing home for a parent or loved one can be one of the hardest decisions in life. There are so many things to consider. How much will it cost? How did it do on its last inspection? Has anyone lodged a complaint against it? Most important of all, will your loved one receive good care there?
Planning can make the process easier. For example, try to visit at least three homes so you can make comparisons. Visits allow you to view the care yourself. If possible, ask the loved one who will be living in the nursing home and other family members to visit the nursing homes with you.
It's also important to remember that homes provide different levels of care depending upon a person's needs and illness. For instance, someone unable to bath, dress or walk may need the high level of care offered in a skilled nursing home, whereas someone who fears falling and living alone may only need the minimal assistance.
What questions should I ask to choose an appropriate facility?
- Can the facility meet my or my loved one's needs?
- Does it have a current state license?
- Does it accept Medicare and/or Medicaid?
- What problems were identified during the last survey or inspection? (A copy of the home's last inspection should be posted or available in the home.)
- Are the residents treated with dignity?
- Is the home clean and odor free?
- Is there an ombudsman who visits regularly?
- Talk to residents and family members. What comments do they have?