How Can I Find the Right Nursing Home?

posted on October 7, 2019
Finding the right nursing home for a loved one can be stressful and confusing. People require nursing home stays for a variety of reasons. They may have chronic care needs, or perhaps they require nursing home care after an illness or surgery.

To find the right nursing home, you must do some research and collect information that pertains to your loved one's requirements. In this article, we'll discuss some of the factors you should consider when looking for the right nursing home.


What Should I Look For In a Nursing Home?

When it comes to nursing homes, there are many different types to choose from. Not all nursing homes are the same, and not all that you come across will be a good fit for your family member's situation.

Some nursing homes simply provide custodial care, like assistance with bathing or dressing. Other nursing homes provide skilled and specialized care, like caring for wounds and help after medical procedures. Knowing how they differ can help you get the right nursing home care for your loved one.

Many nursing homes provide different areas and levels of expertise. You must first consider your family member's medical condition and understand it well enough to find the services they require.

Skilled Nursing:

Patients often need a skilled nursing facility after being released from the hospital to recover from an illness, surgery or operation. A skilled nursing facility has at least one full-time registered nurse and doctor, and provides nursing care 24 hours a day. Federal law requires that one Registered Nurse (RN) on is duty for at least 8 hours, 7 days a week. And either an RN or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) must be on duty 24 hours a day.

Specialized Care:

Some nursing homes specialize in caring for people with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease, where others are best for patients who have cancer, have suffered from a stroke, or are recuperating from an operation.

Determine what specialized care your loved one needs before going on your search.
  • Does the nursing home employ specialized staff with training and experience to care for the disability or condition your family member suffers from?
  • Do they have an adequate number of specialty staff to provide for the care your loved one requires?
  • Does your family member need physical, speech or occupational therapy? Make sure the nursing home provides for these conditions.

Cleanliness, Quality & Location:

Look for Nursing Home Inspection Reports provided by your state. They should provide inspection reports for each nursing home or skilled nursing facility in your area.

These inspections will detect any deficiencies that are found. Each nursing home is required to provide their current inspection report and make it accessible for residents and their family members

It's preferable that you find a nursing home in your area so you can visit often and assess the health and status of your loved one. To find a nursing home in your area, you can:

  • Go to Here you’ll find survey results for facilities in your area.
  • Visit the Eldercare Locator or Aging or Disability Resource Centers’
  • Ask your doctor, neighbors or others in your area that you trust.
  • Contact your local senior center.
  • Ask the social worker in your hospital if your loved one is being discharged. They can help you find the right nursing home based on your family member’s health requirements.
  • Call your Long-Term Care Ombudsman. They are advocates for nursing home residents. Your Ombudsmen can provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care.
  • Contact your state health department or state licensing agency. You can find them on the Internet or in the blue pages of your phone book.

Visit the nursing home to see for yourself:

Make appointments to visit a few nursing homes and speak to their staff members. You may also want to visit without an appointment; this will allow you to see for yourself how residents are provided for.

You should ask questions of the staff and administrators. Also, take time to speak with any family members who are visiting to ask their opinion about the nursing home. However, never go into resident rooms or care areas without permission from the nursing home staff.

Admission Requirements

Before your loved one is admitted, most nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities will require an evaluation; this includes admissions for short-term or long-term care. This pre-admission evaluation will help them determine the specific requirements for care and will ensure that they are equipped to handle these requirements.

Fees and Financing

Make sure the nursing home provides information about their services in writing, including any charges, and fees before you move your loved one into the home. (Medicare-and/or Medicaid-certified nursing homes must tell you this in writing.)

Get a copy of the fee schedule to find out which services are available, which are included in your monthly fee, and which services cost extra. There may be additional fees for things like visits to the beauty salon. Then you can compare nursing home costs.

Remember, even if your loved one’s stay is only temporary, expenses can add up quickly.

Medicare may cover some costs:

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) may cover:

  • Care in a certified Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) if it’s medically necessary for your family member to have skilled care.
  • Short-term nursing stays following a hospitalization.
  • Limited home- and-community-based long term care.

Part A doesn’t cover:

  • Custodial care if that’s the only care your family member needs.
  • Long term care or stays in a nursing home.

Medicaid may cover some costs:

This includes long-term nursing home stays for those who are eligible, and for home- and community-based services. Medicaid-covered programs serve a variety of things, including care for people with mental illnesses, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and/or physical disabilities.

In ConclusionAs you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing the right nursing home. You don't have to go it alone. There are skilled professionals who can help.

About Senior Service Directory is the place to read and review senior care options for your loved ones.