What You Should Look for When Selecting a Nursing Home for a Loved One

You know, many people call me up on the phone and they say, “Bill, what do we do? We need to find a place for our mom to go to or our dad to go to, or my sister or my brother. What do you recommend? What do we look for in finding an appropriate placement and appropriate long-term care facility?”

I say, “First of all, you got to go there. Don’t go there with the admissions representative. Go there on your own. Say you’re going to visit somebody and walk around, look around, see, use your senses. See, smell, listen, is it noisy? Does it smell like urine? Is there staff walking around? Are the residents all in a circle around the nurse’s station?” That’s one of the most important things, is go there yourself and see what you can find out.

The next thing is to go on the web, go to medicare.gov and look at the Nursing Home Compare. See what the ratings are. Now you know you can have the best ratings and get horrible care and you can have horrible ratings and get good care. It’s sort of like Russian roulette, unfortunately. And to better your odds, you have to be there.

Unfortunately, you or your family or a friend have to be there regularly to make sure that your loved one is getting good care. That’s what I would recommend.


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