Five Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Nursing Home

Nursing homes provide a wide range of health and personal care services for elders. If you’re in the process of researching nursing facilities for yourself or a loved one, then there are several factors you need to consider.

Question #1: Is the Facility Medicaid and Medicare Certified?

You should make plans to meet with the nursing home director to ask about the quality of the services and care they offer. You should also ask to see the facility’s Medicare and Medicaid certification. “Certified” nursing homes have passed an inspection conducted by a state government agency. Medicare only covers care from nursing homes that are certified.

Question #2: Is the Nursing Home Clean?

Nursing homes should look and smell clean. Don’t be afraid to ask about strong odors that draw your attention. Foul odors and unkempt areas are usually a sign that the caregiving staff isn’t trained to properly attend to the facility’s residents. Ask how frequently staff members clean residents’ rooms and common areas and then visit a second time within that time frame to see whether you can spot a difference in cleanliness.

Question #3: Does the Facility Have a Rehabilitation Department Onsite?

If the nursing home facility you are interested in has an onsite rehabilitation department, then you or your loved one can avoid the hassle of being transported to another location for treatment. Nursing homes with an onsite rehabilitation department, have a rehab staff that can quickly attend to any sudden changes in the resident’s condition.

Question #4: Do the Interactions Between Staff and Residents Seem Genuine and Respectful?

You or your loved one will want to live in a nursing facility with employees who put the needs of residents first and foremost. Although nursing home facilities are supposed to background check and investigate new hires, unqualified staff can still slip through the cracks. That is why it is important to pay attention to interactions you witness between residents and the staff to make a judgment.

Question #5: Does the Nursing Home Have Abuse Prevention Training?

Reputable nursing facilities offer abuse prevention training for their staff. The requests that residents sometimes make can create a stressful work environment for the staff. Abuse prevention training helps the staff learn various ways for dealing with difficult situations and how to keep a professional demeanor at all times.

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