I spoke with a woman who told me that the hospital was going to place her mother in a certain nursing home, but after reading my book she did a bit of research and chose another facility that was not only closer to her house, but better rated as well. She said that, until she had read my book, she wasn't aware that she had a voice in the matter. Man, it makes me feel good to know that my book made a difference in someone's life.
Nursing homes are notorious for having high employee turnover. This can be a problem, because there's no continuity for the patients. The amount of employee turnover can't be found on the Medicare website, and if you ask the person giving you a tour it's doubtful you'll receive a straight answer. The amount of turnover is a good indication of the nursing home's management team.
One way to find out this information is to search the want ads in your area. If they are constantly running ads, the nursing home might have trouble keeping staff members.
The Medicare website has an area under the Nursing Home Compare tab that displays the ratio of staff to patient; this isn't truly reflective of the number of nurses actually providing patient care. My book explains that nursing homes report every staff member who is in the facility, including the Director of Nursing, Assistant D.O.N., Staff Development Coordinator, MDS Coordinators, and nurses who perform other tasks.
The lesson that can be learned is that you never know what you're getting until you actually visit the nursing home. Visit several times - during dinner or breakfast is a good time, because the Administrator isn't in the building. Visiting when Adminstration isn't in the building allows you to see what is happening when Mom's not watching. - l.e.