The new falcon herald logo.
Feature Articles

Tips for choosing the right nursing home

Making the choice to place a family member in long-term care such as a nursing home can be a difficult choice. Choosing the right facility can be equally hard.Jodi Knapp of Peyton recently helped a friend place her brother in long-term care. She said advanced planning goes a long way to ease the burden on family members. She encourages people to get their affairs in order. “You never know when you might have to go,” Knapp said.She said it helps family members if the patient’s financial status also is in order and their wishes are outlined in a will. It is important to take a complete tour of the potential nursing home, Knapp said. “Really go through it and see the whole thing,” she said.Linda Holloway is the development director for Bessie’s Hope, a Denver-based organization that trains students to interact with patients at long-term care facilities. She said the best facilities are ones where the residents are clearly happy to live there.Holloway said a positive energy can be felt when you walk into the right place. “It’s a trickle down effect from the consciousness of the administration. The residents will greet you like you’ve come to their home,” she said.When choosing a nursing facility for a loved one, Holloway encourages people to visit more than once. “Go at different times, at night, meal time, on the weekend.”She warned that looks can be deceiving and the age of a facility is not an indicator of the quality of care. “Never be misguided on outward appearance, that should be the bottom of the totem pole,” Holloway said.The strongest indicator of a good nursing home is how happy and engaged the residents look, she said. Second, it’s important to note how the staff interacts with the residents.Holloway said steer clear of homes where the employees seem unhappy in their jobs, disengaged from the residents or the residents seem ill kept. “Part of the staff’s responsibility is to keep people who are not conscious of their appearance looking presentable,” she said.When visiting a facility, take the time to ask other visitors if they are happy with the care their loved one is receiving, she said.Another resource is the county’s long-term care ombudsmen. Family members can ask about specific facilities, find out if the facility has any deficiencies and learn about the center’s reputation, Holloway said.She has one guideline she said people should use before making a final decision: “My rule of thumb is – would this be a place I would want to live?”Many Web sites provide nursing home checklists, including and

Federal law protects nursing home residents. According to, every patient and family member should receive information regarding these rights at the time of admission.Resident rights usually include the following:
  • Respect: You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Services and fees: You must be informed in writing about services and fees before you enter the nursing home.
  • Money: You have the right to manage your own money or choose someone else you trust to do this for you.
  • Privacy: You have the right to privacy and to keep and use your personal belongings and property, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights, health or safety of others.
  • Medical care: You have the right to be informed about your medical condition, medications and to see your own doctor. You also have the right to refuse medications and treatments.

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Weather Cams by StratusIQ

Search Advertisers