LoHud.com had an article about the ten questions to ask before admitting a loved one to a nursing home.
What follows are questions to get answered before picking a nursing home.
1. How long has the nursing director worked there? High staff turnover can be a sign of problems while staff retention and longevity is a good sign.
2. How many registered nurses work there, and what is the ratio of licensed nurses to certified nursing assistants? Studies show strong positive relationships between registered nurse staffing levels and quality in nursing homes.
3. Is the staff friendly? Get a sense of how long they’ve worked there and if they like it by talking to them.
4. How good is the food? Visit on a Saturday or Sunday around lunch or dinnertime to see if you would eat what is served and maybe have a meal yourself.
6. Do you see good activities listed on the home’s calendar and are they really going on? Determine how staff works to engage residents.
7. How do residents look? If residents don’t appear clean, comfortable and neat, this could be a red flag.
8. What do state inspectors say? Ask to see the most recent inspection report and research other reports on your state regulatory agency’s website; in New York, it’s the New York Department of Health.
10. Is the home a member of a reputable trade association in your state such as Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association? Membership requires meeting certain standards, and members are kept up-to-date on best practices and regulations.
For more, go to Medicare.gov.
Sources: USA TODAY Network, AARP, Medicare.gov, National Institute on Aging, New York Department of Health, Aging Life Care Association, Agency for Health Care Administration