Questions are Key When Evaluating Nursing Homes
The following situation would probably make David Letterman’s “Top 10” list of days people dread: finding a nursing home for aging parents. Often the images people have about these places can be unsettling, but your search will be less stressful when you know what to look for and which questions to ask.
Measuring quality of care in a nursing home is different from evaluating a hospital. It’s important to remember you are not assessing how well the facility provides short-term medical treatment, but the how the facility attends to mental and social conditions and physical needs.
Certainly, payment considerations are a major factor in choosing a nursing home that suits your situation. But other factors are also very important. You’ll find it helpful to make a list before visiting the facility. Here are some quality standards to keep in mind:
- care and treatment of mental and psychosocial adjustment difficulties;
- nutritional care and treatment to prevent weight loss;
- skin care and treatment to prevent pressure sores or to promote healing and prevent infections; and
- treatment and services to maintain mobility, such as range of motion exercises in the bed-bound resident.
Find out how the nursing home meets these quality standards, and whether they’re handled through the facility or by arrangement with another provider. Also, find out if the nursing home has been cited for deficiencies in quality of care areas. You are entitled to see the facility’s “report card” — that is, ratings by licensing agencies.
Here are some additional questions you might want to ask:
- Are residents able to make choices about their daily routines?
- Does the nursing home meet your cultural, religious and/or language needs?
- Does the nursing home have outdoor areas for residents to use?
- Can residents continue to see their personal physicians?
- Does the nursing home have a resident and family council that meets independently of the facility’s management?
- Does the nursing home have a disaster plan to move residents in emergencies?
Healthy Living Article List
|For Women||For Seniors||Fighting Cancer||Your Heart||Emergency 101|
|Work Smart||Bones, Muscles and Joints||Nutrition News||Advice From Our Docs|