How To Select a Nursing Home in Las Vegas, NV

By Ted Silverstein

Nursing homes, also known as a skilled nursing facility, provide a range of health and personal care services that typically include nursing care, 24-hour supervision, three meals a day, and assistance with everyday activities. Long and short term rehabilitation services for physical, occupational, and speech therapy, are also available.
Some people stay at a nursing home for a short time after being in the hospital and then go home. However, most nursing home residents reside there permanently because they have physical or mental conditions that require constant care and supervision.
If you are looking for a nursing home, ask your doctor’s office for recommendations. Once you know what choices you have, it’s a good idea to:
Think about what’s important to you. Nursing care, meals, physical therapy, a religious connection, hospice care, or special care units for dementia patients? Do you want a facility in the area close to family and friends so they can easily visit?
Talk to friends and family. Talk with friends, relatives, social workers, and religious groups to find out what facilities they suggest. Check with healthcare providers about which nursing homes they feel provide good care.
Call different nursing homes. Contact each facility on your list. Ask questions about how many people live there and what it costs. Find out about waiting lists.

Visit the facility. Make plans to meet with the director and the nursing director. Some things to consider when visiting are:

  • Medicare and Medicaid certification
  • Handicap access
  • Residents who look well cared for
  • Warm interaction between staff and residents

Ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For example, ask the staff to explain any strong odors. Bad smells might indicate a problem; good ones might hide a problem. You might want to find out how long the director and heads of nursing, food, and social services departments have worked at the nursing home. If key members of the staff change often, that could mean there’s something wrong.

Visit the facility again. Make a second visit without making an appointment. Try another day of the week or time of day so you will meet other staff members and see different activities. Stop by at mealtime. Is the dining room attractive and clean? Does the food look tempting?

Carefully read your contract. Once you select a nursing home, carefully read the contract. Question the director or assistant director about anything you don’t understand. Ask a good friend or family member to read over the contract before you sign it.

National Institute of Aging