If you are looking for a nursing home, ask your doctor’s office for recommendations. Once you know what choices you have, it’s a good idea to:
Visit the facility. Make plans to meet with the director and the nursing director. Some things to consider when visiting are:
- Medicare and Medicaid certification
- Handicap access
- Residents who look well cared for
- Warm interaction between staff and residents
Ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For example, ask the staff to explain any strong odors. Bad smells might indicate a problem; good ones might hide a problem. You might want to find out how long the director and heads of nursing, food, and social services departments have worked at the nursing home. If key members of the staff change often, that could mean there’s something wrong.
Visit the facility again. Make a second visit without making an appointment. Try another day of the week or time of day so you will meet other staff members and see different activities. Stop by at mealtime. Is the dining room attractive and clean? Does the food look tempting?
Carefully read your contract. Once you select a nursing home, carefully read the contract. Question the director or assistant director about anything you don’t understand. Ask a good friend or family member to read over the contract before you sign it.
National Institute of Aging