Many people may start their nursing home search online.
There is a lot of information available about nursing homes online, but the information is hard for people to decipher.
Many different regulatory agencies evaluate nursing homes and post their findings online. When they find something that they find goes against their paperwork, they usually the give the nursing homes something called a deficiency.
Nursing homes can get deficiencies for anything from not crossing a t on page 3, to leaving a client alone all day and in a great deal of pain. The coding for deficiencies make it fairly difficult to decipher deficiencies that could just be paperwork errors, to deficiencies that could put residents lives at risk.
These are the insider tips to finding a good nursing home. It is VERY important to choose a good nursing home. For many reasons, you will not want to switch homes. Residents have even been known to die while switching nursing homes… so be sure to do your research before you make a decision.
You Can Walk Around the Nursing Home
You can usually go visit a nursing home during regular hours. Do this. Pay attention to the residents, the smells, and make sure everything is moving. In a good nursing home, no resident is in the same place for more than an hour (aside from sleeping).
Residents in Hallways
To the novice seeing residents lined up in the hallways, perhaps muttering to themselves, may seem like a bad thing. This is usually a good thing. It means that the clients are out of their beds, and that staff can get to them easily. If an activity is going on, the activity director can quickly grab the resident for whatever is happening with little effort.
Bad nursing homes will leave residents in their beds for most of the day. Bad nursing home staff get annoyed at residents in the hallway, as it makes work a little more difficult.
Nursing Home Smell
Nursing homes have a distinct aroma that comes from the fact that many of the residents use protective underwear. If you notice this aroma near a large amount of residents in public areas, it means that the staff is not being attentive enough. With a well run staff, there should be about 1 in every 50 residents who have this smell. If you notice that 1 in 4 residents need some attention from a nurse’s assistant, there is something wrong.
The Ombudsmen are volunteer lawyers who are there to help nursing home residents and families. The Ombudsmen are usually very familiar with the area nursing homes, and they can give you the inside scoop on the various nursing homes. The Ombudsmen’s contact information should be posted near the office of the social services department. You can also call a nursing home near your home, ask for the social services department, and ask them for the Ombudsmen’s telephone number. The front desk should also have the Ombudsmen’s information handy at all times.
The Ombudsmen know the inside scoop, and they are there to help. Ombudsmen are some of the nicest people I have ever met. If you do anything, talk with the Ombudsmen before making any decisions.