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6 questions to ask when choosing a nursing home for a loved one

As challenging as it may be, there could come a time in your life when you need to choose a nursing home for a loved one. Moving through the process can be complex and time-consuming, but there are steps you can take to ensure yourself of making the right decision at the right time.

Here are six questions to ask and answer when choosing a nursing home:

  • Is it the right location? This will impact your life in many ways, such as your ability to conveniently visit your loved one. It's not the only thing to consider when making a final decision, but it should sit at the top of your list.
  • Which nursing homes have the best reputation? You should never choose a nursing home with a less than stellar reputation, as this is a risk you don't need to take. There are plenty of facilities out there with many years experience providing top of the line care.
  • What are the staffing ratios? This gives you a clear idea of the type of attention your loved one can expect to receive. Taking this one step further, get a clear idea of the type of people on staff, ranging from registered nurses to certified nursing assistants.
  • What is the staff turnover? This gives you a good idea of whether the people who work at the nursing home enjoy the atmosphere. Low turnover typically means that workers are happy with their day-to-day job and responsibilities.
  • What types of services do you offer? Don't assume that all nursing homes are the same in regard to the services they offer. For example, your loved one may require special attention for their dementia.
  • What steps do you take in the event of a medical emergency? This is a specific question to ask every nursing home you're considering. You want to know that there is a plan in place should your loved one require urgent attention.

While these are among the most important questions to ask and answer when choosing a nursing home, others may come to mind. Be sure to address those as well.

As you move through this difficult process, stay in touch with your loved one about their incapacity plans. It's important that they have everything in order, as this helps protect their legal rights.

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