Choosing the right nursing home makes a difference for elders

Choosing the right nursing home can be the difference between your loved one receiving good care or finding that he or she has been injured at a nursing home. It's hard to know which facility to choose; many are expensive, and some may seem better than others on the surface with no particular benefit over others. How can you make this important decision easier?

One of the things you should do is take a tour of any nursing home you're considering for a loved one. Plan to advocate for your loved one; he or she may not be in a position to make the choice on his or her own, so it's up to you to make a decision that you know is in his or her best interests.

When you visit the facility, take note of what you see, hear and smell. Does the facility smell clean? Do you see residents who look happy, or do people seem depressed or sad? Can you hear people who are not being attended to crying out? What is the ratio of staff compared to patients?

Another good thing to do is to check the facility's menu. No patient wants to eat bad food. Ask about what kinds of special diets are offered and look over the weekly or daily food selections. Once your loved one is in a nursing home, make sure to eat with him or her regularly to make sure he or she is eating enough; not enjoying the food could be reason enough to move to a different facility.

The nursing home you choose needs to provide for your loved one, and the staff should care for him or her as their own family members. Our website has more on what to do if your loved one is hurt while in a nursing home's care.

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