Few major life decisions have the potential to be more difficult than choosing to move an elderly loved one into a nursing home. Still, if you cannot provide the care your relative needs to thrive, it makes sense to entrust care to professionals at a long-term care facility.
As you may know, not all nursing homes provide the same level of care. While Medicare’s nursing home rating system may give you a starting list, there is no substitute for visiting all perspective facilities. In fact, you may want to conduct a few site visits at different times of the day and night.
Watch for red flags
While it may be tempting to do a quick walkthrough, U.S. News and World Report recommends spending significant time in each facility. This not only gives you a good idea about how things operate but may also allow you to spot red flags. These may include any of the following:
- Nurses who are hard to find or who behave rudely
- Nurses who are too busy to care for residents
- Foul odors and unclean floors
- Dilapidated medical equipment
- A rundown or unsafe neighborhood
Do not be afraid to ask questions
During your initial nursing home site visit, you are likely to speak with an administrator. Do not be afraid to ask some general questions about his or her job. If the administrator appears frazzled, the nursing home may not be running smoothly. Furthermore, if the administrator rushes you through your site visit, he or she may have something to hide.
When touring nursing homes, you do not want to ignore your intuition. Ultimately, if something does not seem quite right, the nursing home is probably not a good place for your aging loved one.