When you’re researching and visiting one, take this checklist with you. It can help you and your loved ones remember some important questions to ask the staff -- and yourself.
Does the nursing home offer the level of care you need, such as skilled care?
Does it meet local or state licensing requirements? Does the administrator have an up-to-date license?
What are the visiting hours?
What’s the policy on insurance and personal property?
How does the staff respond to a medical emergency?
Admission and Assessment
Is there a waiting period to get in?
What are the admission requirements?
Is there a written care plan for each resident?
How does the staff decide the kind of care a resident needs? How often do they assess residents?
Fees and Financing
Have fees gone up a lot in the past few years?
Is the fee structure easy to understand?
What are the billing, payment, and credit policies?
Are there different costs for different levels or types of service?
What services are covered in the quoted fee, and what services are extra?
What financing options does the center accept (such as Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, and others)?
When can the facility terminate a contract? What’s the refund policy?
Do the nurses, social workers, and administrators have experience working with people with MS?
Is the staff willing to work with all of your doctors to make a plan for your care? Often nursing homes assign people to a general doctor who is responsible for their medical care. It’s very important for him to work well with the rest of your care team.
Are staff members available to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs?
Do staff members seem to enjoy working with the residents?
Do they treat residents as individuals? Do they call them by their first names?
Are there people to help residents who have trouble with memory, confusion, or judgment?
Do residents seem happy and comfortable? Are they clean and dressed well?
What do residents, other visitors, and volunteers say about the nursing home?