Health Tip: Choosing a Nursing Home
-- If you're evaluating nursing homes for a loved one, there are many things to consider and a lot of questions to ask.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging offers these guidelines:
- Consider proximity to family and friends.
- Note the resources offered by each home that may apply to your loved one, such as whether it provides dementia care.
- Question family, friends and nearby residents to get a feel for each home and its quality of care.
- Take a tour of each home and ask many questions of the staff. Evaluate whether each home is certified by Medicare/Medicaid and offers handicap access.
- Also pay attention to whether the residents look happy and well-cared for, and if there seems to be enough staff on hand to care for all residents.
- Meet with each home's director, social worker, or chief of nursing. Ask about staff turnover, particularly in management positions.
- Stop by unannounced to have another look; see what's going on when the staff isn't expecting a visitor.
- Make sure you fully understand the details of the contract, costs and any waiting lists.
Posted: September 2009