Not all nursing homes are the same; in fact many have huge differences and level of patient satisfaction regardless of their appearance.  When seniors or their family are looking online, one of the most common search terms they use is “nursing homes near me”.  When that is put in, the local search engine will often list nursing homes by distance and not by quality.  With this being said, it is important to look for certain criteria online and in person before making the decision to enroll a loved one into a nursing home.  Here are five things to look for in a nursing home before committing.

  1. nursing-homes-near-meOnline Reviews-  One way to narrow your search down and save time traveling to each facility is to do online reviews of the nursing home or senior facility that you are researching.  Look for “name of nursing home” reviews when searching online and you should be able to find honest reviews of the nursing home in question.  Besides an online search, the U.S. News keeps a database of their top nursing homes every year.  You can research that site by clicking here.
  2. Amenities-  Nursing home amenities are often the breaking point for many seniors when they are undecided between two different homes.  When checking the amenities of a nursing home, make sure to call and speak with a representative about everything that the nursing home has to offer.  This call will also give you a good idea of the overall customer service of the facility, as if you are treated well, it is often a reflection of how the overall customer service is at the facility.
  3. Technology-  Having an updated facility technology wise is often a good glimpse of how well the facility treats its residents too.  We have seen that facilities that provide high speed Internet, bulk cable TV and state of the art lounges for their customers are among the most favorable nursing homes for residents.  Often when you are looking for “nursing homes near me” in Google, you can get a pretty good feel on how well their technology is by browsing their website.  If they are willing to showcase a quality website, they often keep up with technological changes for their residents too.
  4.  Tours-  Once you narrow down a list of potential nursing homes, it is wise to take an in person tour or have a trusted family member take a tour if you cannot make the trip yourself.  Write a list down of the things that you are looking for in the facility and any questions that you may have for the administration.  Planning ahead before you tour the facility will give you an advantage as you are in control of the conversation and the facility will need to “sell” you on what they have to offer.  Many times you may be able to get extras if they want your residence bad enough.
  5. Overall Atmosphere- Poorly run nursing homes often have a negative atmosphere that one can feel as soon as they walk in the door.  Talk to the residents at a facility when you are on tour, because they will be honest with how they feel about the facility.  Ask questions about what they offer, what a typical day looks like and anything else that may sway your decision.

Overall when searching for “nursing homes near me” you will often get a list of nursing homes by distance and not so much by how well they are run.  Using the five tips above will help one narrow down the nursing homes by specific criteria and give the potential resident the best option for their care.