Questions To Ask When Considering Nursing Home Care

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After careful consultation with your family physician, it has been determined that a member of y our family will require nursing home care in order to maintain a quality of life. Now what?

There are many issues which will be coming at you to deal with in your role as primary caregiver. The following list of questions will help get you started on your nursing home research.

Review these questions below with your loved one. We put together an initial list that we’ll be building upon to help people find the right home for the people they care most about.

What Should You Ask Before Visiting a Nursing home?

Has the nursing home been certified or licensed by the state?

This should be the first question you ask of any nursing home you’re researching. Because many nursing homes accept Medicare or Medicaid payments they need to meet a rigid set of standards with regard to the quality of care. The department of aging for your state should have all the pertinent reports and certifications of every licensed nursing home under their jurisdiction. This is one area where there should be nothing to hide.

Does the nursing home carry liability insurance?

As a cost cutting measure, some facilities might have dropped their liability insurance. This can be a red flag. If a problem arises and you sue the facility and win you might end up becoming the new owner!

Is there a state ombudsman in place dealing with senior care?

An ombudsman is someone who takes in all complaints and areas of concern and then acts as a facilitator on behalf of the resident to find solutions. Each state should have its own version of a senior care ombudsman. If you find out who that is but the nursing home you’re looking at doesn’t have a clue that could be another warning that they might not be in compliance with regulations and guidelines. You should be able to find the ombudsman by reviewing your state’s

What Should You Ask the Staff? 

Are staff members assigned permanent floor assignments or do they float between residents?

A nursing home that can manage permanent assignments with their staff helps build up a level of trust and consistency with the residents. This is especially important during the first several weeks of the transition.

What is the ratio of staff to resident?

The ideal ration should be 1 staff member for every 3 residents. This will insure a sufficient level of care without overburdening the staff or stressing out the residents

What are the qualifications of the staff members?

As the primary caregiver you are well within your rights to ask to see the resumes of every staff member at the facility. You want to look for various certifications and nursing degrees. You might find that several staff members are actually in training to become a RN. That’s actually a good thing because their attention to detail could be even greater!

The issue of specialized training comes into play with residents who might be dealing with the challenges of a disease like Alzheimer’s. Handling a resident with dementia is quite different than dealing with someone who is recovering from a broken hip.

There will be many more questions that will come up as you delve into your nursing home research. If you find a question worth asking, let us know and we’ll post it for others to see. Entering into a nursing home arrangement for your loved one makes you part of a very special, nurturing community those benefits from sharing experiences.

One Response to “Questions To Ask When Considering Nursing Home Care”

  1. I found another resource provided by which is linkable from the Website link. It’s a downloadable PDF that discusses how to compare, how to cover costs, an overview of your rights and information about alternative options.