Making the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home is often a very wrought one. There are a number of hurdles to deal with, one of them securing the agreement of the loved one. Nursing home care is also expensive in many cases, and the options can be overwhelming.
Even worse is the prevalence of nursing home abuse that is present in US nursing homes. According to the AARP, it is better to do research as far in advance as possible, and you should always visit a nursing home before committing.
Research in advance
It is better to avoid last-minute searches if at all possible. The situation becomes far more stressful if you have to locate a facility within a short timeframe. There are many sources online for you to use: Medicare has a star-ranked one.
However, it is important to remember that these searches are not the be-all-end-all. Sometimes the rankings may not reflect the reality on the ground. Also, staff ranking is one of the most important metrics, and some facilities may reflect an overall 5-star rating but not have adequate staff.
Visit before committing
Even if a nursing home seems perfect on paper, you still must go visit. While you are there, be observant: check how long it takes for staff to answer buzzers, and how long the residents have to wait for medication. You can also visually inspect the cleanliness of the residents and overall hygiene.
It is best to eat a meal at the facility if at all possible, and visit more than once. This will give you an in-depth look at what it is like to live at a particular nursing home.