Central New York, Community, Health

Issues in Nursing Homes are Raising Questions in CNY

Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsmen office, located in ARISE, serves older adults living in long term care facilities. © 2018 Ashtyn Hiron

Listen here to find what to look for when choosing a nursing home for a loved one.

Audio transcript: Central New York nursing homes

By Ashtyn Hiron SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The Department of Health fined several New York state nursing homes during the past three months for being non-compliant with state regulations. Advocates for people who live in long term care facilities advise families to visit and research nursing homes before committing to one.

Jeff Parker, regional coordinator for the long term care ombudsman program in Onondaga County, identified factors that should go into the decision making process when families are deciding what facility to place a loved one into.

“Going and seeing the facility for yourself and getting a gut feeling of the environment is the most important thing a family can do,” Parker said. Families can get a feel by talking to residents, watching staff members, and assessing the facility to see if it matches the desires of their loved one.

It is important to consider the environment that their family member would feel most comfortable in when searching for a nursing home.

“Knowing your loved one is key. Is your loved one someone who grew up and lived in an urban area and would prefer to live in a facility that is more urban? Or out in the country? Or more suburban? Paying attention to those things is really important,” said Parker.

When picking a long term care facility, Parker said families can prepare for this process by:

– Planning ahead and having open conversations about location preferences

– Identifying payment source and current financial situation

– Researching long term care insurance

For more information, the Onondaga County Office for Aging offers a detailed checklist of questions to ask when selecting a nursing home. (page 63-65)