At some point in many of our lives, we will be faced with the task of selecting a nursing home for ourselves or a loved one. Many times we see the lawyer ads on television and stories of nursing home abuse on the news, but these instances are not the norm. Unfortunately, instances have and do occur in nursing homes and although we can not foresee them; by being active participant in the nursing home selection process, we can hopefully choose a safe and comfortable nursing home for ourselves or our loved one.
Choosing a Nursing Home Tip #1
Ask around. If you are considering nursing home placement, you should begin by asking friends, relatives and co-workers what they may know or have experienced with nursing homes. You may not realize it but many of your friends and co-workers may have family currently living in a nursing home and they can relay that experience to you. I recommend asking several people about their experiences to get a clear idea of what facilities offer the best care and services. Remember, people will often tell a bad story before a good one so don’t go on the word of just one.
Choosing a Nursing Home Tip #2
Review nursing home inspection information. In my experience, nursing home inspection information is fairly accurate in detailing and portraying the care that one can expect at a nursing home. You can search and compare nursing homes at Medicare.gov, this website offers information about nursing homes and gives star ratings. You can click on each category to learn what each nursing home star rating means. When I did this search for my zip code, five nursing homes came up. I have had extensive experience with four of the five nursing homes in my area and can say that the star ratings accurately depict the nursing home.
Choosing a Nursing Home Tip #3
Visit your prospective nursing homes. Call the nursing home that you plan to visit, a reputable nursing home will have someone available to discuss your options and offer you a tour of the facility. If you call a location that does not appear to want to offer you a tour or time for discussion, then I would suggest this is not a great choice. In choosing a nursing home, you want one that will be open and available to you and your families needs. When you tour the facility, do not be afraid to ask questions about care and activities. A good nursing home will have detailed care information and a calendar of activities.
Choosing a Nursing Home Tip #4
Contact your local ombudsman. Ombudsman work with families and residents of nursing home facilities in regards to complaints. Your local ombudsman can give you information about nursing homes, nursing home inspection reports, and explain nursing home care to you. You can also work with your local ombudsman to become a volunteer for a nursing home to help you better understand what your loved ones new home will be like.