Choosing the right Nursing Home (also known as a Skilled Nursing Facility) for your loved one can be a difficult, but crucial decision. The research needed will take some time, but is well worth the effort. Often the best looking facility will not be managed in a way to properly care for your loved one, or even be detrimental to their health; while an older and less aesthetically pleasing facility with caring staff may be the best choice. Additionally, since nursing homes are needed for rehabilitation after an injury or long hospital stay, it is a good idea to have this research done before a nursing home is needed.
Search for Nursing Homes Close by Your Home or Job:
You will want to be able to visit your loved one frequently, so choosing a facility close to your home and/or job is very important. To perform a Facility Search for the cities by your home and/or job, click on the Facility Search Link (Additional Resources Link #1 Below), by City choose the cities you’re interested in (hold down the control key to select multiple cities), and press the Submit button. You will be given a list of facilities in those cities you selected.
Print Out the Facility Display For Each of Your Chosen Facilities:
From your list of facilities in the cities you choose, click on the link of each facility and print out the “Facility Display” for each facility. On the “Facility Display” you will also see a link for “Inspection Details for this Facility” on the right side of the page under the facility’s star ratings. This will give you the details you will need to make your decision. I would suggest printing out this information for your records and review process. After looking at a few of these, they all seem to run together.
Analyze all the Facility Displays and Inspection Details:
On each of the facility the Facility Display will provide valuable information. Along with the facility contact information you will find how long they have had their license, if it is for profit, how many beds are in the facility, the occupancy rate, daily charges, payment forms accepted, special services available, languages spoken, and inspection results. These inspection results are easily read by star rating (with 5 star being the highest for each category). For any items that were not satisfactory on inspections, details are given under the Inspection Details link.
Visit the Facilities That Look Good on Paper:
Once you have a short list of facilities that look good on paper and are close to you physically, the next step is to start visiting the facilities. For the first visit, you will need to call and make an appointment for a visit. You can expect to have quite a sales pitch, on a tour of the facility be very observant of all the details you can. Is the staff friendly? Are the residents happy? Is the facility clean and odor free? If there is anything you notice that you’re not comfortable with make note of it. Listen to your gut feelings, they are usually right. Ask any questions you have. If you have any questions about the inspections, ask what they have done about it since the inspection. Visit a few different facilities so you will have something to compare. After the first visits, you will have a shorter list. Second visits will be next. This time you will need to have unscheduled visits. Make it a different time of day, weekend, or during meal time. You will be able to observe if anything is different during these conditions. Be very observant and ask any questions you have. This is a big decision and one not to be entered in lightly.
After Your Loved One Moves In, Visit Frequently:
After you have chosen the best facility for your loved one, you will need to visit frequently. Your research (both on paper and in person) is just a snap shot in time. The best facility can change for the worse, with changes of management or other changes in the facility. Always keep your eyes open to any changes. This will ensure that your loved one continues to receive the best care possible.