What to Look at When You're on a Nursing Home Tour

nursing homes
Before you decide on a nursing home, you should check it out in person. Bottom line: you need to ensure the nursing home will take good care of the patient. And sometimes a description on paper doesn't match reality.

Contact the nursing homes on your list, and ask for a tour. Some will have you set up an appointment, some will let you walk in. When you are on the tour, keep these things in mind:
  1. How accessible is the nursing home? Does it have plenty of parking for visitors? What are the visiting hours? Is there a common phone for the residents to use? Or do residents need their own personal phone?
  2. Examine the nursing home with all your senses. How do the residents appear, what condition is the furniture in, what types of safety equipment do they have, how noisy is the nursing home, are there any odors?
  3. Inquire about dietary. What types of meals are served? Snacks? Specialty diets?
  4. Inquire about fees they charge. What are the basic fees? Are there any special fees? What insurances do they accepted?
  5. Inquire about the activities program. Ask to see the activity schedule. Do they support outings?
  6. Ask to see the latest inspection report. If any corrections needed to be made, ask if they have been made and what was done to correct them.
  7. Interview patients, family, and staff. Ask how satisfied they are with the nursing home.
  8. Inquire about staffing. How many doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are on staff? Does staffing change on weekends? After hours? Holidays?
  9. Inquire about languages. Communication with a patient is important. Ask what the primary spoken language is and if any other languages can be accommodated, for example sign language.
  10. Inquire about religious support. Do area churches visit the nursing home?
  11. Ask questions. If you see something unusual, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It may help to explain nursing home policies.
  12. If you have any questions after the tour is done, contact the nursing home.
  13. Don’t be afraid to ask to tour the nursing home again. This is a very important decision. It’s always good to go back on another day or during a different time to see if anything has changed.
  14. Inquire about the services they offer. Do they specialize in any illness? If yes, what makes their program different from other nursing homes?
Once you're done with your tours, please consider rating the nursing homes on WhereToFindCare.com. Patients, caregivers, and visitors are all allow to review healthcare providers. Sharing your experience will help others in your community find a quality nursing home. Your reviews are especially helpful to people who are unable to visit a nursing home themselves.

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Learn more about nursing homes:

How to select the best nursing home
Making arrangements at a nursing home
Tips for moving into a nursing home
Tips for living at a nursing home