You might have never had cause to talk to your local ombudsman (or to even know that you had one), but when you are considering putting someone in a nursing home, they are good people with whom to become acquainted.
If the potential nursing home welcomes visits from your local ombudsman, this is a good sign, as these officials can act as an advocate for patients, investigating everything from unanswered call buttons to complaints about sanitary conditions or even the quality of the food being served. Once you've narrowed down your nursing home choices, set up an appointment with your ombudsman and find out what he or she thinks about the different facilities. Their insider view is priceless as you work through your decision-making process.
To find your local ombudsman, visit the Web site of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.