How to Choose the Right Nursing Home

feet and color arrowsLet’s face it, placing your loved in a nursing home is no easy task – for anyone. So you want to make sure that the facility you choose is the right one.

But how do you go about choosing a nursing home? And how do you know if it’s a good one?

It’s not just a matter of steering clear of bad apples that have been the subject of high-profile media incidents because of abuse or neglect.

Even a good nursing home could be just right for one person but inadequate for another. Say your loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia. He or she may need a facility with a secure memory care unit and specialized staff.

So decide ahead of time what’s important to you. That will help you narrow the field.

Get Started With A Little Help From Your Friends

The best way to get started is to check in with your own network of family, friends and professionals. Ask people you trust who have personal experience for advice and recommendations. Consult your physician or elder law attorney. Contact your local senior center. If you’re in the hospital, discuss your situation with your social worker or discharge planner.

What Are Your Preferences?

We recommend that you consider a wide range of preferences including the following:

Quality of life Security
Quality of care Preventive care
Location Hospitals
Availability Licensing
Staffing Certifications
Religious & cultural preference Services
Food & dining Charges and fees
Language Health & fire safety reports
Policies Resident & family satisfactions

Nursing Home Compare Tool

The centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) have a Nursing Home Compare tool that will give you an idea of how nursing homes in your city or state stack up against each other in terms of three criteria: health inspections, staffing and quality measures.

If you type in “Connecticut” you will see that there are currently 229 nursing homes listed. They are rated for each criterion, as well as an overall rating. You can sort by any field. For example, if you are most interested in staffing, the criterion that indicates the number of staffing hours for nurses and certified nursing assistants, click the “Staffing” link and the up or down arrow and the tool will sort the results in ascending or descending order according the number of stars.

Touring the Facilities

Once you have compiled your list of possibilities, schedule appointments to tour each facility. CMS suggests that you bring a checklist to make sure you get answers to all of your questions.

The nursing home will be your loved one’s new home, take the time to properly do the research.

Related Posts:

What You Should Know Before Signing a Nursing Home Agreement

Senior Living Options: Cracking the Code

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