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It is very important for you to visit several nursing homes, to compare their services and programs. These visits will provide you with insight into the "environment" each nursing home provides. It will also offer the opportunity to visit with staff members, residents, and families to ask key questions and learn valuable information to help you make the right nursing home decision.

It is a good idea to schedule an appointment before you make your visit.

The best time to visit a nursing home is late morning or midday so that you will be able to visit with staff members and residents as well as observe the afternoon meal. Additionally, if you visit during the afternoon, you can observe the activity and restorative programs.

When you arrive at the nursing home, ask to meet with the person responsible for admissions. The admissions director has the job of coordinating the admissions process, answering questions about the facility, and touring prospective residents. The admissions director also has the responsibility of explaining the costs associated at the facility, and explaining your rights under Medicare and Medicaid. The nursing home will aid you in the applications for these programs.

Explain to the admissions director the purpose of your visit, and ask if you can tour the facility. It is important to ask any questions regarding the quality of care; restorative care; specialized programs; activities; dining; social services; and laundry services, and to discuss the cost and payment issues.

During a tour of a nursing home, examine the general layout of the building, room size, nursing stations, dining facilities, lounge areas, and the therapy and treatment rooms. Assess the quality of care given to residents. Is the building clean and well maintained? Do staff members interact well with the residents, and do they treat them with dignity? Are residents' requests being met promptly? Are people dressed appropriately? Do residents appear eager to discuss their feelings about the nursing home?

Ask the admissions director about speaking to a resident. Observe the goings-on around the facility. In making your observations, you should form an overall impression of the nursing home. Be certain to bring a notepad and pen and write down both your positive and negative perceptions from the facility. Taking notes will help you make a better decision about which nursing home to choose.

Infini Healthcare Inc.