Alert
Close

Dylan Talks! AARP exclusive interview and in-depth look at the American icon. Read now

Introducing RealPad

The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

Bob Dylan Talks!

 

 

Life Reimagined Renew Year

 

 

Rewards for Good Sweepstakes

 

 

New Year's Resolution Contest 2015

 

 

Life at 50+ - Discover. Engage. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Life at 50+ - Register for the Digital Experience

 

 

Life Reimagined $10,000 Sweepstakes

 

 

Happy African American couple

 

 

 

 

 

 

AARP Auto Buying Program

 

 

AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy

 

 

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

 

 

Military and Veterans Discount

 

 

 

New Book

Dating After 50: How to get back in the game

Dating After 50 For Dummies

Contests and
Sweeps

$10,000 Life Reimagined Sweepstakes

Enter for a chance to win up to $10,000 to help make your dreams a reality. See rules

Webinars

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

 

Home & Community Webinars

Family & Caregiving Webinars

Popular Articles

Viewed

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Poll: Are You a Real Techie?

Choosing the Right Nursing Home

10 questions you must ask before moving your parents or loved ones into a new facility

4. Is the staff overworked?

Ask the nursing assistants and other staff if they work a lot of overtime and double shifts. If so, that’s a sign of short staffing that can affect patient care.

“If the staff are overworked, then they are overstressed,” says Boals. “It’s a lot of giving, and they’re working in a difficult situation.”

Ask the director of nursing for the home’s staffing ratios or check their staff ratio rating on the Nursing Home Compare tool at Medicare.gov. If you believe your loved one is being neglected because of poor staffing ratios, file a complaint with your state agency that regulates nursing homes.

5. How do residents spend their afternoons?

Don’t be alarmed by the crowd of residents circling the nurses’ station or watching people come and go through the front door. This is actually a good sign, says Boals. “I’d rather see that than see people tucked in their rooms, the television on, no one with them,” says Boals. A quality nursing home is going to have a daily calendar of activities in which your parent can participate. If your parent is room-bound, activities should be brought to his or her room.

6. How does the staff interact with each other?

Eavesdrop on the aides and nurses, says Somers. “If the staff is rude to each other, they’re going to be rude to your parent,” says Somers. Also listen for what music is on the radio or programs are on the television. “The music should be for the clients who are there, so if you’re hearing hip-hop or hard rock then you know the administrator doesn’t have a clue as how to deal with old people,” says Somers.

Also be aware of how staff spends its time once all the charting and direct care has been finished for their unit. “Are they gossiping with each other or are they making time to sit and talk with the patients?” says Debra Stang, a former nursing home social worker. “That’s something that I would always look for. Any time you come in and you’ve got three nurse’s aides giggling over a book and a bunch of residents sitting around in wheelchairs looking bored — that’s not a good environment.”

Next: Check for bruising. »

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Cereal

Members can download and print coupons for cereals from Kellogg's®.

grocery coupon center member benefit aarp

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by Coupons.com.

AngiesList

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points