When a family in Pennsylvania realizes that a parent, grandparent or other aging relative may be in need of care beyond what they can provide at home, many may consider moving their loved one into a nursing home. This decision is rarely made easily, especially with the knowledge that some facilities may not provide the level of care they desire.

In late 2018, PennLive published a report highlighting some of the gaps and concerns about nursing home care in Pennsylvania. Since then, two state lawmakers have been promoting the need for increased oversight of these facilities. The state Health Department is said to be updating its regulations, including those that outline required or recommended staffing levels. In the meantime, people should learn how to assess different facilities, so they can find one they feel good about moving their loved one into.

As explained by AARP, when visiting a nursing home, many of the basic senses can be tapped into to assess the environment. Excessively strong or rotten smells, for example, may be signs of poor hygiene or substandard cleaning procedures. Looking at things like the cleanliness of floors to the appearance of the food that is served to residents can give an idea about the level of care taken in presenting a pleasing experience to people.

It is also wise to listen to how staff communicates with residents and with other staff members. There should be a clear level of respect given to others that helps create an inviting feeling for residents and their family members.