June 11, 2015

How to Select a Nursing Home

Selecting the “right” skilled nursing facility is obviously important. Let’s talk about how to approach it.

When you have a parent or elderly relative who exhibits diminished mental or physical capabilities, family members start talking quietly about mom or Uncle Bill. Although this person may not need long-term or nursing home care for some time to come, now is the time to be proactive and begin the conversation about long-term care.

This can be difficult, but the advantage to being proactive is that when you get the facts upfront, it prevents making a reactive, hasty decision when the time does come.  So let’s talk about choosing the right nursing home.

We’ll start with three essential questions to ask and consider that concern you, family members, and the “resident” to be –

  1. What are the resident’s current and potential care needs? Will the facility be able to consistently meet those needs over time?

  2. How close is the facility to doctors and family? Will appointments and visits be convenient?

  3. Do you feel confident and comfortable when you walk through the doors? While no facility can be as warm and familiar as home, sometimes you just know when you’ve found the right place.

Once you’ve addressed these questions and answered them, you can move on to more specific inquiries. Writing down the answers and sharing them with all concerned parties is an excellent start.

Thanks for reading and if you have comments or questions, please post them below.

Robert W. Hurlbut, President