Choosing a Nursing Home

Choosing a nursing home for yourself or a loved one is a very important decision. Discuss the issue thoroughly with the individual involved and his or her personal physician. For help and information on facility locations and specialized services you should contact several of the consumer and provider organizations included in the Resource List.

Follow these steps to begin your search for nursing home placement.

Step 1: Gather information and prepare for a personal visit to the nursing home

 Contact the facility's admissions representative to schedule an appointment for an informational meeting and tour of each facility. Ask for a copy of the facility's brochure, admissions policies, admission agreement and the resident's bill of rights.

Contact the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, (317) 232-7134 or (800) 622-4484, and ask for additional information about the facilities you are considering.

Contact the Indiana State Department of Health, Long Term Care Division, at (317) 233-7442 or visit at 2 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, Indiana and inquire about survey findings and complaint reports for the facilities under consideration.

Step 2: Visit each of the nursing homes

 Visit the nursing home and meet with the admissions representative or administrator

Tour the nursing home and observe staff interactions with residents

Take the time to speak with residents and family members about their experiences

Ask questions and make observations. For assistance with this task click on Suggested Topics & Questions.

Step 3: Narrow your choices

 Narrow choices and re-visit the facilities under consideration again, at a different time of day if possible. Visit at meal times, evenings and on weekends.

 Contact the admissions staff for advice about the admission process

 Meet with the administrator and key staff to discuss specific concerns you may have about care needs and personal preferences for the resident and how they would be addressed

 Review surveys completed by the Indiana State Department of Health

Step 4: For a resident's family, once a selection has been made

 Ask to participate in care planning decisions and care planning conferences

 Be sure to visit often and remain involved in your loved one's ongoing care

 Make concerns known