6 Important Questions to Ask When Looking For a Nursing Home

Looking for a nursing home can be one of the most daunting tasks you may ever experience.  Oftentimes judgment and emotions are running high during this time of transition for your loved one. Therefore, it is crucial to have an objective list of questions ready to guide you through this process.

1. How responsive is the administration?  Leadership starts at the top and should be evident from the first encounter with the nursing home. If there is a long lapse in communication at this point, look into it.

2. How clean does the environment appear & smell?  For an objective list comparing nursing homes and their inspection reports refer to Medicare or the Department of Health in your state.

3. What is the ratio of staff to residents?  This is usually mandated by the state, but make sure you are not seeing a shortage. Unfortunately there can be a high turnover rate in this industry particularly for CNAs.

4. What is the current occupancy rate?  Unless the facility is new it could be cause for concern if there are an abundance of available rooms.

5. What is the protocol in case of a medical emergency and what is the schedule with the attending physician? It is valuable to know how often team meetings between all staff occur as well as the scheduled rounds of the attending physician.

6. How active are the support services?  Are physical and occupational therapy readily available?  Ask to tour the therapy rooms.  Also look at the activities schedule to determine the level of social resources.

Although there are many other questions that will arise during this process these questions are a good way to start the evaluation process. This proper research in the beginning can alleviate many issues in the future.

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