Picking a nursing home for a loved one should not be trial and error, especially with nearly half of these facilities’ residents suffering from dementia, according to a recent article in The New York Times.

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is often a difficult but necessary one as falls, fires, poisonings, self-injuries and physical aggression often become ever-present dangers. And it is not always easy to find a place that offers the services and environment that the patient needs.

Joanna R. Leefer, the author of “Almost Like Home,” a guide to choosing a nursing home, lists six crucial questions to ask when assessing a nursing home for someone with dementia.

  1. Is the dementia unit large enough so that the resident will not feel confined?
  2. Does it offer activities appropriate for the person’s intellectual abilities?
  3. Does it have a positive environment – colorful, but not overly stimulating or confusing?
  4. Are music and singing included in the activities?
  5. Is the staff trained to handle patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s? How does the staff deal with patients who act out?
  6. Are residents in the dementia wing kept clean and well dressed, and treated with the same respect as those in other parts of the facility?

Experts say that continued family support and involvement are critical to assuring good patient care. Plan to spend several hours with the patient on the day of admission, when anger, hurt and acting out are likely. Visit often on different days and times, and get to know the staff. Read the full details here:

Picking a Nursing Home Shouldn’t Be Trial and Error

This article is a must read for anyone who is considering putting a loved one in a nursing home because of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

If you or someone you love has been injured due to nursing home abuse or negligence, call the professionals at Crandall & Pera Law for a free case evaluationCrandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.