Six Important Questions to Ask When Finding a Nursing Facility

Finding the right nursing home for your loved one can be an extremely stressful task. Fortunately, Medicare.gov provides a very useful site for comparison: Nursinghomecompare. MSN News recently performed an analysis nursinghomecompare provided for 16,000 nursing facilities (that take Medicare and Medicaid) in the US: U.S. News Best Nursing Homes by Avery Comarow.

AlzLive, a notable voice in the online caregiver field and a helpful resource for families who care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, gave some advice on Huffington Post to help those performing their own evaluations. Joanna R. Leefer, the author of Almost Like Home, a guide to picking a nursing home, gave these six essential questions one should ask when evaluating the quality of a nursing home for someone with dementia.

  1. Does the dementia unit provide a large enough space so that the resident doesn’t feel confined?
  2. Does the facility provide intellectually appropriate activities the resident can participate in?
  3. Is the environment of the facility positive—colorful, but not too stimulating or confusing?
  4. Do the activities incorporate music and singing? A lot of residents with advanced dementia can still sing or play musical instruments, even if they are no longer able to express themselves in other ways.
    5. Is the staff adequately trained to manage patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease? How does the staff respond to patients who act out?
  5. Are the residents in the dementia wing groomed and well dressed, as well as treated with the same respect as those in other areas of the facility?