Selecting a skilled nursing facility (SNF) can be hard. There are a lot of options out there and there are many things to consider. This is a big decision to make. However, there are some things to look for to help make this process easier. Below is a list that has been compiled from industry professionals on what they tell their friends and what they look for themselves when selecting a facility.
TOUR any facility you are considering. Tour multiple buildings so you can get a feel of the building. If you can’t make it in person for a tour, ask for a virtual tour, the facility’s website, any pictures they have, and their social media handles. For an in-person tour, make sure to go twice with one of the visits being
during a mealtime.
WATCH the interaction between staff members and the residents who live there. It shouldn’t be robotic. Residents should be happy and talking to the staff like they are friends.
LOOK for cleanliness. Most buildings will look clean, however you can tell if they deep clean it by looking for dust on the picture frames. While most people think smell is an inevitable part of nursing facilities, it is not. Smell is a sign of poor cleanliness.
MEALTIME should include people eating. If you notice the residents are picking at their food and aren’t eating it, that is a sign the food is not enjoyable. Also, the staff members should be engaging with the residents during mealtime. Food is one of the main things your loved one will care about when living in a SNF.
FEEL is important. You should feel comfortable and like you are at a second home (although there is no place like your own home). You should not feel like you are in a hospital (sterile and cold). The building should be lively and friendly.
LOCATION is another thing to consider. While most people want the closest option to them for visiting purposes, remember at the end of the day you can drive away but your loved one cannot. Pick the better facility even if it is farther away. Your loved one will thank you for it.
RATINGS are an insight, however they are not the complete picture. Google, Yelp, and Facebook ratings can give you a small glimpse to what the building is like, however the healthcare industry cannot reply to a lot of reviews due to HIPPA. It may look to you like a company doesn’t care about their reviews when they simply cannot handle the situation publicly. If you have concerns about a building’s reviews, ask them about it.