What should I ask when looking for a nursing home?


Quick Answer

Although choosing the right nursing home for a family member can be difficult, there are some questions everyone should ask before placing a loved one in a nursing facility. These topics include degree of resident freedom, certification, accreditation, safety, rules, amenities and physician choice.

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Full Answer

One major point of contention for those entering a nursing home is loss of independence, according to HowStuffWorks. It's important to ask the facility how much freedom the residents have. For example, can residents choose what time they eat, or are meals pre-scheduled?

The facility must provide proof of certification and accreditation. This shows that the facility has met certain requirements and standards set by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, according to HowStuffWorks. Facilities with JCAHO certification have satisfied safety guidelines that include infection prevention, medication management and general safety. Families also should ask for Medicare certification.

Other basic inquiries, according to How Stuff Works, cover rules on smoking, restricted visiting hours, access to television and phone, choice of roommate, permitting of pets and whether the resident may continue to see his own doctor.

Asking these questions before placing a loved one in a facility can help reassure family members that the facility is capable of caring for the resident well.

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