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The AARP Poll Have you considered a nursing home for your loved one?

Nursing Homes: What to Ask

Sometimes the need for a nursing home comes suddenly or unexpectedly. Choosing one can be very difficult, but early planning can make the process easier. Try to visit at least three homes for comparison. If possible, ask the loved one who will live there and other family members to come along. Witness the care firsthand, talk to the staff, residents, and other families, and taste the food. Itís always best to visit a facility at least twice, with one of the visits unscheduled during a weekend or evening when staffing problems may show.

Talk with the nurses about the kind of care your loved one needs and make sure the facility can provide it. These questions will stimulate some constructive dialogue:

  • Is transportation available so the resident can visit his or her own doctor?
  • Does the home offer physical therapy? Please describe it.
  • Are the staff members well trained to deal with dementia?
  • What about units or programs for special needs such as Alzheimerís?
Take this checklist with you as you compare different nursing homes.

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