Care and a Caring Home

Some New Questions To Ask When Arranging For A Nursing Home Stay

For some people, there comes a time when their families simply can't care for them, and they need to move to a facility where medical professionals can more easily support their care. Of course, current events — and the effects these events have had on nursing home residents — have created some new questions to ask about living in these facilities even after things return to some semblance of normal. Because you don't know what the future holds, ask these questions along with the rest of your usual list.

How Good Are the Connection and Bandwidth for Video Calls?

You don't want another round of the virus or another emergency to keep you from seeing your relatives in the nursing home, so being able to make video calls is essential. With everyone making these calls, however, the home's internet connections could become overwhelmed very quickly. How does the home handle a surge in video data use? Are connections and bandwidth for each room adequate? Are residents limited to video calls on specific public computers in the home? Do charges for internet use change?

What Are Your Pet Policies?

Nursing homes should already have a pet policy listed on their websites, but it's better to discuss this one in detail. People have really gotten into raising cats and dogs or helping out with fostering, and if your relative is able to care for a pet, an animal friend can be wonderful to have during tense times. Does the home allow residents to get new pets after living there a while or only to bring in pets they already owned before moving into the home?

How Do You Handle Distancing Procedures?

Should distancing be necessary, how does the home handle it, especially during meal times and in terms of getting outside and walking around for exercise? Does the home offer in-room meal options, or will residents have to adhere to a schedule to eat in a dining room? How is distancing maintained outside when you have residents of differing mobility ability (e.g., some who walk faster than others and who may be passing a lot of people on a walkway)? How are gyms and other fitness features handled?

Whether you're in a state that's declared an indefinite stay-at-home/distancing order or in a city that's decided to open up fully, you need to be prepared for all possible events. If you're looking at nursing homes for a relative, think about what a normal day might be like there and how that day could be affected by another out-of-the-blue event. Finding answers now will help protect your relative and help you find the right nursing home.

Look online at websites like to learn more about different nursing homes.