If you have an elderly parent, you may have little choice but to move him or her into a nursing home. This is probably especially true if your mother or father has a serious health condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease, that requires round-the-clock care.
You have probably heard horror stories about nursing homes. While there are many excellent nursing homes that provide top-notch care, it can be difficult to distinguish between good and bad facilities. Fortunately, with some effort, you can probably tell the difference.
Check Medicare’s nursing home ratings
When you are looking for the right nursing home for your parent, you may want to start by developing a list of facilities that are close to you or other relatives. You can narrow your list by checking Medicare’s nursing home ratings.
Medicare gives up to five stars to nursing homes based on a number of criteria. These include accident statistics, staffing, health and safety inspections and other reliable metrics. Generally, the better a facility performs, the higher its star rating is likely to be. Crossing off any nursing home that does not have a five-star rating may be advisable.
Arrange site visits
You can only learn so much from reviewing ratings and reading through marketing materials. Therefore, you should plan multiple site visits at different times of the day and night. When you visit potential nursing homes, pay close attention to the interior and exterior condition of the facility. Also, look at the dining room, activities center and other places to see how residents have adjusted.
You are likely to get a gut feeling about each nursing home you visit. Ultimately, though, after choosing a facility for your parent, you must continue to monitor the nursing home to ensure your loved one is receiving the care he or she deserves.