There are a number of important factors to consider when choosing a nursing home. While certain factors, such as services offered and ratings, are important, it is also important to take more personal judgments into account.

A particular facility may seem to meet an individual’s needs on paper, but if it gives a bad feeling to the individual, or their loved ones, then it may be worth it to keep looking for a place that makes everyone comfortable. To the extent possible, and this may be difficult in the midst of COVID-19, people should visit their potential nursing home to get a better idea of what life will be like in a particular place. Seek out people in your personal networks to see if anyone has particular experiences with specific nursing homes. Evaluations from trusted sources may be especially valuable if visits for potential residents are unavailable due to restrictions from the pandemic. 

One potential red flag to look for is when evaluating nursing homes is high staff turnover. If the current administrators or staff members have only been working at a nursing home for a short period of time, that may be an indication of an unhappy workforce or other problematic factors that cause staff to seek out employment elsewhere. On the other hand, staff and administrators that have been in place for a longer period of time may be an indication of stability.

Pleasant staff interactions when evaluating a facility may also be an indication of what life will be like for nursing home residents and their relatives. Try to have multiple interactions with staff both over the phone and in-person, if possible, before making a final decision. Consistent responsiveness and pleasantness can be a valuable indicator of how potential issues with a loved one’s care will be resolved. 

A local, experienced elder law attorney can also help with nursing home planning. An experienced elder law attorney can help recommend nursing homes that can serve a client’s specific needs and other local resources. An elder law attorney can also help develop a plan to help pay for nursing home care.  

For help in choosing a nursing home and to develop a plan to pay for nursing home care, please call Martha C. Brown & Associates at (314) 962-0186.