The Five Top Qualities in Nursing Home Facilities
Once you've narrowed your list down to a handful of potential nursing home facilities, it's time to start making visits and talking to the staff and administration at each place. After years of helping people like you make confident decisions on behalf of their loved ones, we've compiled a list of some of the most important qualities to look for in a skilled nursing facility. Don't sign a contract unless the following nursing home information checks out at the home you're interested in.
The Most Important Nursing Home Information: Licensing and Violations History
It's true that some nursing homes have less than stellar regulatory histories. But many boast squeaky clean records, and these are the nursing home facilities you'll feel confident sending your loved one to. The best place to find this nursing home information is from Medicare's Nursing Home Compare feature on their official website. Nursing Home Compare offers updated information on each licensed nursing home's quality ratings, health inspection results, staff information and fire safety ratings. Also check with your local long-term care ombudsman's office for specific dispute information, complaint histories and redress options.
Beyond Typical Nursing Home Information: Reading the Fine Print
We're talking terms and fees. Your best bet is to take home a copy of a potential nursing home facility's contract and read it carefully, word for word. If it's difficult for you to stay focused, we recommend reading it out loud because hearing it spoken out loud can bring clarity and help bring concerns to light. As you read, listen for any monetary language. Whenever you see mention of an additional service, do you also see a clearly outlined fee structure? Look for red flags like vague cost structures, tiered pricing or any indication that subjective pricing may occur.
Access to Your Loved One: Nursing Home Facilities' Visiting Hours
Family members often overlook the importance of flexible visiting hours in nursing home facilities. Many whose loved ones have lived independently until now underestimate the difficulty involved with scheduling visits around an already hectic family schedule. Don't let this happen to you. Instead of finding a home who's visiting hours fit with your current schedule, look for one with open, flexible hours that offer visiting opportunities throughout the day, every day of the week. That way, as your schedule changes through the years, you'll be able to keep up your close relationship with your loved one.
Taste and See: Nursing Home Facilities' Culinary Capacities
It's true that aging seniors often lose interest in food. But that makes it even more important to find nursing home facilities that offer healthy, tasty dishes. Make sure you visit and eat a meal there yourself. You can get a better feel for flavor, presentation and variety in a single meal than any nursing home information packet could describe. In addition to your own experience of the food, think about your loved one's tastes. Watch the residents around you to see if they are enjoying it, and while you're at it, see how helpful the staff is with those who need assistance eating.
Your Number One Indicator of a Healthy Home: A Friendly, Competent Staff
Many nursing home facilities suffer from high turnover rates. This can lead to a more turbulent experience for residents and make it harder for administrators to provide consistent, excellent service. Take each facility's staffing temperature by having a candid conversation with administrators, researching staff ratings at Nursing Home Compare, and interacting personally with staff during visits at different times of the day and night. Look for friendly, knowledgeable staff members who know residents' names, speak familiarly to them, treat them with care, and create a generally positive, happy environment.
Start Gathering Nursing Home Information
Finding a nursing home with a stellar regulatory structure, fee schedule, visitors' policy, food quality and staff caliber might seem like a tall order. But our trained elder care advisors are standing by to help you find that perfect skilled nursing facility today. If you're ready to go straight to the best elder care options for your loved one, give us a call at our toll-free number (listed above) today. For more pertinent nursing home information scan our online elder care resources and nursing home information center.
All About Nursing Homes
- Nursing Homes Guide - Home
- Levels of Elder Care
- In Home Care vs. Nursing Homes
- Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes
- Nursing Home Licensing
- Veteran's Nursing Homes
- Christian Nursing Homes
- Senior Care Glossary of Terms
- Nursing Home Resources
- Pertinent Nursing Home Information
- Nursing Home Facility Amenities
- "Aging in Place" at a Nursing Home Program
Inside Nursing Homes
- Inside Nursing Homes Main Page
- How Nursing Homes Utilize Care Plans
- The Layout at Typical Nursing Homes
- The Daily Schedule: Real Life at Nursing Homes
- Occupational Therapy in Nursing Homes
- A Typical Visit with a Nursing Home OT
- Interview: Occupational Therapy in Nursing Homes
- Interview: Coordinating Care in Nursing Homes