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Factors To Consider When Choosing A Nursing Home

by | Ideas

Jul 1, 2020

Nursing homes are dwelling care facilities that give a range of services. People go to nursing homes for many reasons. Circumstances like ill health, injury, and surgery might require going to nursing care. However, many people initially do not seem to consider the idea of a nursing home placement.

Choosing a nursing home is a difficult but necessary decision. Sometimes we might find ourselves in the position to make this decision.

Unfortunately, most people don’t get the necessary time to make this decision. This might be the result of a sudden decline in health situations or an inability to meet the needs of an elderly parent. So when the time comes to pick a nursing home, they don’t know the factors to consider when choosing a nursing home.

Providing care for an aged parent whose health situation requires consistent quality care can be challenging. Therefore, you might need to consider the use of a nursing home to care for them. How then can you pick a suitable nursing home that will fill the need of your loved one? We will look at key factors to consider when choosing a nursing home.

Moreover, if your loved one is still able to make choices, you should discuss these factors with them and acknowledge their opinion.


Guide For You When Choosing A Nursing Home


Understand The Needs

To be able to make the right choice, you have to know the needs of your parents first. Nursing homes generally provide a wide range of services. However, you need to see the care that your parent requires, to make the right pick. Below are the common types of care provided by nursing homes


 When Choosing A Nursing Home

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio


Intermediate nursing care provides health-related care to individuals who require some help with medicines or feeding.

Skilled nursing care provides 24-hour, licensed nurse coverage, and rehabilitation services. These facilities provide care for both short-term and long-term stays. An example of a short-term stay would be physical therapy, which can last from two to four weeks. An example of a long-term stay is caring for a person who cannot regain self-care.

Subacute nursing units provide services that require more acute therapy or monitoring than is usually offered. For example, a licensed nurse giving 24-hour assistance with the use of a ventilator. These services are principally provided within a skilled nursing facility and are considered short-term needs.

In summary, you should only consider nursing facilities capable of meeting your parent’s needs.


The Location

Closer is better in this instance. When considering a nursing home to choose, you want to visit the facility in person. Some nursing homes have serious flaws, and the best way to evaluate the facility is to see it by yourself. During your visit, you want to have conversations with the residents and take to mind their thoughts about the facility. It is essential that you do regular checks on your parent to see their welfare in a facility.

It would be best if you’re close to the nursing home so that you can easily visit your loved one frequently. Living far away might not be a problem initially but can become difficult due to other personal activities.

Therefore, the proximity of the facility to your residence should be a priority factor. If the nursing home isn’t close to you, it should be close to another family member who is willing to support your parent. When facility employees know a resident have regular visitors, it reminds them that their care is being scrutinized. 


Adequate Staffing

The staff working at a nursing home will be the ones giving primary care to your loved ones. Therefore, you want to look closely at their attitude, expertise, and professionalism towards their job. 

Furthermore, meet and discuss with the administrators and director of the facility to gain insight into their personality. Also, they are responsible for establishing the culture and processes for the entire staff to follow.

A high turnover rate for staff is not a good sign for a nursing home as it can be a sign of underlying problems. Also, having inadequate numbers of staff to care for residents can lead to neglect. Meanwhile, the shortage of staff will put a large workload and pressure on those that are available.

You should pay attention to whether staff members interact closely with residents and know their names. So, you can have an insight into the relationship between the residents and the staff. Try to see if the staffs possess the required skilled—nursing and personal care before choosing a nursing home.

Also, remember to be polite when dealing with the staff. Show respect and warmth to both the resident and the staff of the facility. Find out if there is a licensed nurse at the facility at all hours of every day as required. Keep an eye out for nursing homes with many changes with staffers, as this can be a sign of underlying problems.


Cost Of The Nursing Home

Many nursing homes are expensive. Most people become discouraged due to this fact. Cost varies depending on the health and physical care required by a resident. As a result, you should consider the value of the facility before choosing a nursing home. You can check from your local authority if there are provisions for your circumstance or your loved one.

An option is to buy an insurance plan that can cover the cost, preferably long-term care insurance. Or you can find out if your current health insurance plan or that of your loved one includes the cost for a nursing facility.


Red Flags


  • Only make use of accreditated nursing homes; this should be a deal-breaker.
  • Avoid nursing facilities with a history of violations. Also, they might have a bad reputation for care.
  • An inadequate administrator can make the entire facility unproductive. For example, If you have trouble getting in touch with the administrator, this should be a sign of incompetence.
  • Trust your senses, so if your gut tells you, there is something wrong there probably is.
  • Stay away from nursing homes where the staff has a bad reputation.
  • A dirty environment and unpleasant odors should be a turn-off.
  • A nursing facility with a history of abuse should not be considered.
  • You should check the rate of infection of a nursing home, a high rate of unreported infection is bad.


In conclusion, your goal should be to choose the nursing home that best meets the older person or loved one’s needs. Before making your decision, discuss the situation with the older person, family, friends, and healthcare providers. Likewise, you need to learn about the nursing homes in your area and the services they provide. Pick a facility close to you if possible so that you can also have time for yourself and caring for your loved one does not become a burden.

By Daniels Nanna

Nanna Daniels is a legal practitioner and writer. His practice as a lawyer and a writer is as diverse as his client base. His client ranges from government bodies to banks, private companies in real estate, energy companies, telecommunications to small businesses, families, and individuals. He is a passionate and diligent analyst of family, sports and business concepts, providing in-depth knowledge and analysis. He has covered topics ranging from family, parenting to entrepreneurship.

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