5 Important Questions To Ask When Finding A Skilled Nursing Home


Twenty-four-hour nursing care is an excellent option for seniors with varying medical needs. Short-term nursing care can support those recovering from an injury, surgery, or hospital stay, while long-term care is ideal for those with complex chronic medical conditions. Skilled nursing allows patients to reside in a more comfortable and homier environment without sacrificing the vital care they need from medical professionals. A nursing care community will liaise with physicians and specialists to deliver a tailored care plan to meet your loved one’s needs. What’s more, 24-hour nursing is often covered by insurance and typically includes meals, housekeeping, activities, and on-site amenities.

The right skilled nursing facility can be a lifeline for seniors and their families, offering specialized care, comfort, improved quality of life, and precious peace of mind. But finding the right community to meet your loved one’s needs is vital. Ask the following essential questions on your tour to determine whether a skilled nursing facility is right for you.

1. Are there any physicians on-site, or do you work with visiting physicians? 

Ensuring a skilled nursing facility meets your loved one’s specific needs is essential. For example, suppose your relative would like to move to 24-hour nursing care while they recover from a surgery or pressure sore. In that case, they may need a wound care specialist to track healing or monitor incisions. Some skilled nursing homes have specialists on-site, and others have visiting physicians who can offer additional support to residents. At Chapin Home, our on-site team of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants provide tailored care under the direction of a medical director and regularly update patient physicians and family caregivers. We also offer services including (but not limited to) wound, surgical and cardiac care, psychiatry, podiatry, rehabilitation, audiology, dental care, and palliative care. With a host of specialist services from in-house and visiting practitioners, we can deliver the highly personalized care our residents deserve.

2. What is your staff-to-resident ratio, and what staff are on-site around the clock? 

When your loved one needs 24-hour nursing care, there must always be enough of the right caregivers to meet their potentially complex needs. A high staff-to-resident ratio means that more staff are available per resident. With a higher staff-to-resident percentage, caregivers have more time to provide the compassionate and respectful support every senior deserves. For instance, they may be better able to support residents in completing activities of daily living (ADLs) and personal care as independently as possible. This focus on independence can evoke a sense of accomplishment in seniors and ultimately improve their quality of life. A high staff-to-resident ratio also empowers staff members, allowing them to provide the compassionate care they want and feel greater job satisfaction. 

3. What payment types do you accept, and what admissions support do you offer?

24-hour nursing care is often a more affordable option when compared to a prolonged stay in the hospital. Skilled nursing facilities usually offer various payment methods and plans tailored to you and your loved one’s circumstances. For example, Medicare and Medicaid may cover some (or all) of the cost, as can long-term care insurance, veterans benefits, or personal savings. Most skilled nursing facilities have an expert to help prospective patients and their families choose the right payment plan. At Chapin Home, an experienced Admission Coordinator and Medicaid Expediter can guide prospective new residents and their families through admissions. 

4. How will you keep us updated on our loved one’s care? 

When you have a parent or loved one in 24-hour nursing care, you will want to stay updated with their health and informed of any changes to their care plan. Even more importantly, it’s vital that your loved one feels empowered and informed about their care at all times. A skilled nursing facility serves as a bridge between physicians, patients, and patient representatives or family members. Ask about how and when you can reach the skilled nursing community and how frequently you can expect updates on your loved one’s health. If your relative has complex medical conditions, you may also want to ask about how staff communicate in a way that is understandable to those without expert knowledge.

5. What services and amenities are available on-site? 

A 24-hour nursing home offers more than an extended stay in a hospital because it provides just that – a home. Skilled nursing typically includes freshly cooked and nutritionally balanced meals to promote health, well-being, and recovery (or management of health conditions) and a range of amenities, services, and activities for residents to enjoy. At Chapin Home, we have a weekly general store for residents’ convenience, as well as visiting jewelry and clothing stores. We also have a full-service beauty salon available twice weekly. Dedicated housekeeping and maintenance staff keep residents’ rooms and communal areas clean, safe, and inviting. 

To learn more about our services, amenities, and what life looks like at Chapin Home for the Aging, get in touch via the contact form to arrange a tour and ask your questions!

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