Nursing Homes

Things to consider about homes for the aged

Older adults who need more support, supervision and living assistance may need live-in nursing home care. Nursing homes can be worrisome for aging people, so be sure to keep them involved in the decision-making process. With that in mind, there are definite criteria you should look for in homes for the aged to avoid having a loved one spend his or her last years in a difficult or dissatisfactory situation.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to live-in caregiving, and nursing home costs are just one of them. It's also vital that you do your background research and homework on all residential nursing homes you're considering.

Nursing Home Care: Factors to Consider

Here is a checklist of facts you should know about any homes for the aged you may be considering:

  • What is the nursing home's star rating? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have created a system that rates all registered nursing homes on a scale of one to five stars.
  • How has the nursing home performed on health inspections? Ask to view copies of the inspections.
  • How does the home hire its staff? What qualifications do they require? What specialized medical training do they have? If the patient has any specific health needs, now is the time to find out how well-qualified the nursing home is to meet them.
  • What are the fees? Are the fees all-inclusive, or do certain services cost extra?
  • What activities are offered for patients?
  • What residential options are offered? Can more active patients live in self-sufficient apartments, or are they cared-for round the clock?

You should be sure to visit any homes for the aged you're interested in before making any kind of commitment, and bring the patient along with you for a look around. Check for cleanliness, safety, and quality of life. Do the other residents seem to be enjoying themselves? Are they active? Are there landscaped outdoor areas for their enjoyment?

Finally, be sure you understand lease or residency terms. If the patient is unsatisfied and wants a move, be sure you can get him or her out of there within a reasonable amount of time.