Wheatland Manor

Nursing Home Basics 101

Choosing a nursing home for yourself or a loved one can be a difficult decision. The following are just a few of the things to consider when evaluating a nursing facility.

Start looking for nursing facilities before you need one. It is easier to make hard decisions when stress and emotions aren’t involved.

Pay an unnanounced visit to any nursing facility that you are interested in. Walk around and take note of these things:

  •  Is staff friendly and offering to help you?
  • Does the building have any bad odors?
  • Are the residents clean and and do they appear to be well taken care of?
  • Are call lights being answered in a timely manner?
  • Visit with residents or families and ask them if they are satisfied and whether they have concerns?
  • Talk with the staff about how long they have been employed at the facility
  • Ask to see the latest state survey
  • Ask about food and whether you can enjoy a meal with the residents.
  • Eat in the dining room with the residents to see whether residents are assisted if necessary. Are second helpings or substitutes available?
  • Are the resident rooms clean and free of clutter?
  • Are therapies available on-site?
  • Are there activities for the residents? Is everyone encouraged to participate? Are outings offered?
  • What is the general feel of the building? Does it feel like an institution or more like a home?
  • Are different levels of care offered? This can be especially important to couples wanting to be together, yet having different needs.
  • Can transportation be arranged for appointments?
  • Does the nursing facility help with insurance claims? What happens when a private-pay resident’s money is gone and Title XIX is the only option?

There are many more things to consider, but trust your instincts. Go back a second time with questions that come up after you have had time to consider carefully. Check out more than one nursing facility.

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