What To Look For When Scoping Out Nursing Homes

6 June 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Choosing a nursing home for yourself or for a loved one will inevitably involve a visit to the premises. Before your visit, you should have in mind what you're looking for.

There are certain hallmarks of a good nursing home that you should make sure any nursing home has before you pursue residency. Look for the following during your visit:

1. The relationship between staff members and residents

Though subtle, this is an important detail to notice during your visit. How staff members treat residents is probably one of the most important qualities of a nursing home. Ideally, it will be clear that staff members have developed an affectionate relationship with residents that is readily apparent in interactions. 

2. The staff member to resident ratio

Staff member to resident ratio is an important indicator of the quality of care that is offered at a nursing home. In general, state law requires that nurse to patient ratio meet certain daily requirements. For example, the state of California requires 3.2 nursing staff hours per day per resident.

Of course, a great nursing home will go above and beyond the requirements if needed. If you notice during your visit that residents don't seem to be waiting around or in need of assistance, it's probably a good sign that the nursing home is adequately staffed. 

3. Visiting hours

Nursing homes always limit visiting hours so that they can keep track of who's entering and exiting the building. You want to make sure that the visiting hours will accommodate your schedule so that you'll be able to see your family member(s) enough when it's convenient for you. 

4. Outdoor areas where residents can go

Residents should be allowed time outside, but it's important for nursing homes to have a secured area outdoors where residents can walk, sit, or stay active without the risk that they will wander away or get lost.

5. Well designed and adequately equipped interiors

A nursing home should appear attractive and tastefully designed. It should also be updated with modern furniture pieces and appliances. Hang out in a resident room a while and test the bed and chairs for comfort as part of your inspection. Consider the furniture and design of both private rooms and common areas.

5. Planned activities

Regular and frequent activities are an important part of keeping nursing home residents content, active, and healthy. Look around for a schedule of events, and consider if planned activities will appeal to the unique interests of you or your elderly family member when you set out to find nursing homes services