What are the official policies?
It's important not to assume anything when evaluating a nursing home. Just because one facility might have an open door policy for visitors, you can't assume another does. That's why it's critical to be sure you understand all of the potential nursing homes' policies. Most will be able to provide them to you in writing, but if not, some questions you might want to ask include the following:
- Is smoking allowed?
- Are there restricted visiting hours?
- Do residents have access to a phone and TV?
- Are they provided a choice of roommates?
- Can they still see their own doctors?
- Are pets allowed to visit and/or live in the facility?
- What approach does the nursing home have for treating behavioral difficulties?
When composing this list of questions, it can be helpful to think of yourself living in the facility. What would an average day like be for you? What would you want to know before moving in? The more you ask, the better prepared both the future resident and your family will be.