Nursing home tip: What to watch out for

Nursing home tip: What to watch out for
residet at a nursing home sit a table a make crafts.

residet at a nursing home sit a table a make crafts.

Taking a tour of all prospective nursing homes on your list is an important step in finding the right home for you or your loved one. It’s really the only way to accurately gauge the quality of the facility.

“Families and prospective resident should see the types of accommodations available, whether rooms are private or semi-private, physical therapy facilities, bathing facilities, dining rooms, activity rooms, visiting areas and any outdoor areas accessible to residents,” says Amy Snyder, director of marketing at highly rated Hoosier Village Retirement Center, an Indianapolis nursing home.

Snyder says you should pay attention to details when touring a nursing home, and you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are the residents clean, well-dressed or appropriately covered? 
  • Are staff members interacting with residents or are many residents simply parked in an empty room or hallway.
  • How does the community look and smell? Is it clean and fresh or are there bad odors that do not appear to have a recent origin?  
  • Are the residents' rooms clean and picked up?  
  • What is the staff demeanor?  Are they respectful of residents, helping to maintain personal dignity? 
  • Does the staff member providing the tour know the residents and staff?

Additional tips from Amy Snyder of Hoosier Village:

Check the quality of care. No matter how new or beautiful a community may be, families should look into reports from their respective boards of health or other governing body.

Does the nursing home offer the services you need? What types of rehabilitation are available?  Do the therapies offered fit the health and wellness needs of the individual requiring admission?

Ask about staff turnover. Ask about turnover statistics and look for a nursing home where not only members of management, but front-line staff have long-term employment. Be sure to ask who the medical director is and how much time he or she spends at the nursing home.


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Nursing home tip: Observe the staff

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The relationship between the staff and residents should be warm, polite, and respectful.
The relationship between the staff and residents should be warm, polite, and respectful.

Angie's List members from Atlanta and Charlotte talk about the positive experiences they had interacting with nursing home staff members.

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