Choosing a nursing home for yourself or a loved one, either for a short-term stay after a hospital visit, or for a more permanent placement can be overwhelming. You can talk to your neighbors, get recommendations from doctors and look on-line for facilities in your area. But how do find out about the quality of the facility?
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health provides a Quality Rating Tool for Nursing Homes for the public. This Quality Rating Tools provides information in 5 areas which is gathered by the DPH during surprise visits to facilities: Administration, Nursing, Residents Rights, Kitchen/Food Services and Environment. (I have put this link in the sidebar under "Resources" so you can easily find it again.)
Tools like these are important because you can't always judge a facility just by the way it looks. However, if the facility does not look or smell clean, and if the residents seem poorly cared for that is probably an indication that you want to look somewhere else.
If you need help evaluating a nursing home either because you aren't sure what to look for, or if you live outside of Massachusetts and you are trying to find placement for a relative here, there are geriatric care managers and other professionals who can assist you in the evaluation of the facilities, so you can make the right choice for yourself and your loved one.