John Christopher Fine, a former special counsel to the U.S. Senate Aging Committee, has harsh words for many of the nursing homes he’s seen. In an opinion piece published at the news website TheEpochTimes.com, Fine highlights the importance of researching nursing homes before committing and then keeping an eye on things once your loved one moves in.
One good place to check out the facility is in the parking lot, Fine says. That’s because you may run into relatives there.
While difficult it may be possible to ask another patient’s relatives what they think during an inspection visit. Visitors are shepherded around the institution and have little chance for unsupervised conversations with staff, patients, or relatives. Sometimes the parking lot is a good place to ask relatives leaving the facility what their experience is.
Fine underscores the necessity of continuing to visit after the move. Thwarting expectations is important here too. “Most important are visits that are unscheduled and at varied hours of the day and night,” he says.
You can start your nursing-home research at OurParents.com, where you’ll find ratings and reviews for facilities in your area.
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.