Sam C. Rumph, III
Help Selecting a Nursing Home
If you have made the decision that your loved one needs to be placed in a nursing home, choosing the right facility may seem like an overwhelming task, but it does not have to be, especially if it is taken in small segments.
A good place to start is by doing some research into the various types of facilities offered. I would encourage you to do some light reading online, not with the view of using the information that you are reading at that moment to make a decision, but use that information only to increase your general knowledge about nursing homes. The more you read on the subject, the more similarities you will find between articles and information. Spending several hours doing this will give you confidence in the decisions that you will make in selecting the proper nursing home in the future for your loved one. It will also give you insight as to some general factors that will be important to making your decision. These factors will become naturally evident to you the more you read, so don't feel bogged down with taking a lot of notes right away. In doing this your reading will be much more relaxed, and you will likely retain much more of the information. After you've done some reading, and you feel more comfortable with the terms that are used frequently when discussing nursing homes, you will be ready to do a more thorough search.
Also, other people can be valuable resources when selecting a nursing home. In fact, often times nursing homes are selected based on referrals through other people you may know with similar circumstances. It is good to inquire as to their experiences, both good and bad, with the nursing home that they have experience dealing with.
You may also want to consider using an elder care advisor. In your reading you will come to learn that "elder care" is a common term that is used frequently in discussing our older generation in nursing homes and nursing care facilities. Because this is such a growing segment of our population and economy, there are many professionals called elder care advisors that will have specific training and insight into making these types of decisions. They may be a good resource and provide valuable information. For instance, one such resource can be found online at Guide to Nursing Homes.
Another great resource can be found online at www.medicare.gov. Although Medicare does not pay for long term care at a nursing home, their website has some good information. For instance, clicking on the link below will connect you directly to the Medicare site where you can insert your zip code in the area where you are looking for a nursing home. With the zip code information, Medicare's website will then provide you a list of nursing home information that will include overall ratings, their ranking with health inspection staff, and their quality ratings. This information can be very insightful as to selecting a quality nursing home for your loved one. The nursing homes complete contact information is also included with this listing.
Rating information is especially important because nursing homes go through a licensing process both with state and federal governments. Medicare has even published a checklist that can be very helpful. Attached is the form taken directly from Medicare's website.
The reference links below are several that may be of help to you in your search. Finally, using Google search terms "nursing home ratings" for the state in question will render a number of links on the subject.