It is often difficult to make the decision to either put a loved one in a nursing home or decide to go to one yourself. However, even after you have made this decision, choosing the right nursing home is a paramount concern.
The regulations on nursing homes can vary widely, and what may look like a nice facility at first glance may hide nightmarish conditions. According to the AARP, you should take advantage of online search tools to narrow your search for a nursing home, and also make sure to visit in person before choosing one.
One of the best tools available is the Medicare website. Medicare has an extensive collection of nursing homes, and also assigns these homes a rating on a five-star system. This can help you hone in on 2 or 3 nursing homes that may be right for you and your loved one.
However, keep in mind that the ratings that nursing homes have are not fully-indicative of what it is like to live there. The most important thing to look for when it comes to star rating is staffing: generally, homes that have higher staff-to-patient ratios are the best. It is possible for a 1-star nursing home on the list to have a 5-star staff ratio.
When you visit the nursing home, make sure to pay attention to the condition of the residents. Look at hair, teeth, and fingernails. Also, try to observe how long it takes for staff to respond to call lights, and if there are long lines for medication.
Due diligence is essential when choosing a nursing home. This way, you can avoid all-too-common nursing home neglect.