Choosing a nursing home is one of the hardest decisions you will ever make. Your spouse, parent or another loved one needs to care that assisted living or home health care simply cannot provide. It’s time to choose a nursing home. The majority of Texas nursing homes are staffed by compassionate and caring individuals who provide excellent service to the residents. By knowing what to look for, residents and their families can find the best nursing home possible.
Many people simply choose the closest facility. Before making this decision, however, it is important to do careful research. Some facilities are better and offer more appropriate care than others. Unfortunately, there are facilities that consistently violate state standards and subject their residents to poor care. You should start by getting recommendations from friends living in nursing homes and their relatives.
Ask your physician and nursing staff if there are places close to you that stand out as very good or very bad.
Pick three or four facilities close to home and prepare to visit. Ask to talk to the Administrator or the Director of Nursing.
The following questions will help you decide whether a facility is right for your loved one. Pay attention if staff members don’t give you straight answers. Notice when the answers are inconsistent with what you observe at the facility. You can also call the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) at (800) 458-9858 and ask about the places you are considering.
Although the DADS employees cannot designate a facility “good” or “bad” or recommend one facility over another, they can answer the following questions about any facility:
- Have there been any proposed license terminations in the past two years?
- How many complaints have been filed in the past year?
- How many complaints have been found to be valid in the past year?
- How many deficiencies have been cited in the past two years?
- How many “quality of care” violations have been cited in the past two years?
- When was the last visit by DADS, and what was the purpose of the visit?
- Has the owner of this facility had other facilities recommended for license termination?
Your Visit– What to Ask and Look For
- When you first walk in, take a deep breath. How does it smell?
- As you walk down the halls, take another deep breath. How does it smell?
- Look at the floors. Are they clean?
These simple observations will alert you to conditions that residents live with daily. A facility that does not keep residents clean will smell bad. A facility that allows floors to stay dirty does not put a high priority on cleanliness.
We hope you found this information about choosing a Texas nursing home helpful.
Additional Texas Nursing Home Resources ~
- Help Paying for Long Term Nursing Care
- Nursing Home Inspection Reports: Find Problems in Your State
- Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes: What’s the Difference?
- Find and Compare Nursing Homes