When difficult situations arise family may need to turn to social workers, case workers, hospital discharge planners, and yes, the internet to help become educated about appropriate options for loved ones.
Unfortunately, choices for a skilled nursing facility is often made under stressful conditions and in haste.
There is no substitue for visiting the home in person!
Federal regulations require any long-term care home or facility to provide 30 days written notice and an appropriate discharge plan if they determine a patient is inapporpriateto remain with them. They may not just tell you verbally "you have to relocate a loved one"!
Your Nursing Home Check List
Is it well maintained inside and out?
Is the decor pleasing and warm?
Is the facility free from odors?
If there are odors, are they handled quickly?
Do all rooms have private bathrooms?
Are there electric beds?
Is the attitude of the nursing staff caring and friendly?
Are meals nutritious and appealing?
Is the kitchen clean and orderly?
Does a registered dietician, or professional service, plan meals?
Are there individual and group activities and a monthly calendar?
Are arts and crafts offered?
Are there special outings?
Are non Medicare patients allowed to visit home?
Do they have an active volunteer visiting program?
Do they provide in-house physical therapy?
Is speech and occupational therapy available?
Are therapists licensed?
Are religious services, or transportation to churches offered?
If privately owned, is the owner available?
If managed by an outside service, how do their other facilities compare?
What is the reputation in the surrounding community?
How does the facility treat residents with similar needs?
How do reports issued by state and watchdog organizations rate and rank the home you are considering? What do the state or county obmudsmen say? Check www.medicare.gov and the resources listed below for additional evaluations. The expense that may be incurred could be well worth the aggravation of later moving a loved one from a poor quality home.