I’ve done my tour as best I could with covid restrictions of two of the three nursing facilities. Two are directly in my area and one is not. Two are for-profit and one says government-county.

The one that is not in my area (government county) came recommended by dad’s home health physical therapist. I like how they are answering the phones and being very friendly and helpful with information although I’ve not gotten a chance to go inside. This one has a bed capacity of 60. The therapist says this nursing home tries to get to know patients on a one-on-one basis and when he was working there, they tried to help residents. This one is about 20 to 30 minutes away and allows 30-minute visits. I probably would not be able to go visit on a daily basis but probably could once a week or every other week.

This next one a home-health nurse (same agency) suggested saying because it is small as well (bed capacity of 58) the care may be a bit better than our other larger facility (the 100 capacity). A close friend has a niece that worked on the inside and she said her niece did not like the way patients were treated. They are iffy with the phones and not overly friendly when they do answer. More home-like look. Five minutes away so could check in on a daily basis if allowed.

This one has not been mentioned at all by anyone although friendly and I know a couple of people that work there although not well. This one has a bed capacity of 100. They are very friendly when answering the phone and helpful when answering questions. My in-person visit with this one showed few patients up and about and the ones that you did see, were in pretty bad shape. Not sure if this would cause a mental effect on dad who still has some capabilities. It's more of a hospital feel and looks. Always ads in the paper with them looking for aids. About ten minutes away.

So I also wondered if you don’t like the first one, should you give it more than 30 days if you don’t like what you see. If after 30 days, are you able to transfer to another?

Not putting stock in the Medicare gov website and the senior care site may be based off the Medicare one but unsure.

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I'm down to two. One in town and one out of town. I'm still anxious about having to place him back in a nursing home rather than his home since he is doing better.
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Dad’s other children may not be willing to travel but I’ve always been willing to travel, whether through personal vehicles or rentals, for better doctors. I believe we, as his children, should want dad to be in the best facility even if it means a bit of travel.

GardenArtist, thanks for letting me know to check with my state's Ombudsperson. Another wonderful resource. The facility that dad’s therapist recommended has 0 complaints and the smaller one in my hometown has almost a handful but none related to abuse or neglect. The Ombudsperson says that the facility (one therapist recommended), in his own personal observation, goes above and beyond with their patients and gave some examples.

Thankfully I know not to rely on Facebook. It was just a matter of using them to see if they show any activities they are/were doing with their patients. So for our area, that didn’t work out because it only showed what the staff members were doing (special luncheons, birthday celebrations, etc.)

I also learned early on not to rely on company websites. The larger nursing home in our area said they had a state-of-the-art rehab area. Upon my visit, it appears to be an infection waiting to happen. It was also not state of the art.

I am still checking the Alz Association for a list of nursing homes.

The ombudsperson also recommended our State Department of Health and Human Services as you did MHHE1967 to check each nursing home's ratings in regards to infection control, complaints, and annual surveys. So this will be my next stop, just had to update.

Thanks for all the great information everyone!!!
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Check by Googling your state’s name and DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services). They should have a list of facilities by county with inspection dates, ratings, specific problem areas, etc. This source has a wealth of information.
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When I was researching good homes, I contacted the Ombudsperson to ask if there were complaints filed against those under consideration.   This was especially important b/c this was our first venture, and the one my mother was in was displaying some rehab problems.

From then on, I never took the recommendations of the discharge planner unless I could meet with a rep at the hospital, and have good, frank discussions.  I've since found that meeting with facility reps is a good way to get insight into the facility.   They wouldn't want to be in a position of misrepresenting or recommending a place that wasn't up to par.

Personally, I wouldn't rely on FB for anything other than gossip and backstabbing.  

The Alz. Assn. used to publish a list of homes as well, but I don't recall whether there was distinction between rehab, AL, or senior living.

If you're seriously considering any, I would definitely ask for a tour and a meeting with someone on staff to answer questions.    Proximity can be convenient, but I'd go out of my way for a good facility, which I did once during special conditions and the need to be near a well known and established medical community.

Still, there's nothing that guarantees that positive observations hold true for top notch care.   I made a big mistake once when I toured a rehab facility which seemed to be top notch, being owned and operated jointly by a local hospital and another entity (which I can't remember now).  

Representations were lies, even an endorsement by a resident wasn't true, my father's chart was lost the first day, and the place was the worst I've ever placed my father.   By the end of the first day he called and said "GET ME OUT OF HERE!"   

That's when I saw the power of lies to persuade potential clients.
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I'll see if the nursing homes are willing to provide me with some names although I have a feeling they will say it is a privacy issue. But, I will give it a shot. Thanks for the suggestion on the other websites. I did a search on Facebook but they mostly showed happenings with the staff more so than things they are doing with the patients, which I also assume is for privacy reasons.
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MJ1929 Oct 20, 2021
It's not a privacy issue. They ask the family first. I've been a reference for my mom's place a few times.
I knew my mother's AL facility was good because she had neighbors from her 55+ community who moved there and recommended it. But I found out recently they were highly ranked by JD Power. She is in a Senior Lifestyle community. Not sure if this will help but you may want to try looking up this way...
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You can join and poll your actual neighbors (in wider and wider geographic areas) to ask what their experiences have been. You'll get lots of unvarnished information and recommendations.
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Ask each one for references from families who have had loved ones there. Call those people, and ask them what they liked, what they didn't like, and ask what their loved ones liked and didn't like. Ask a million questions, and get at least two or three references for each place.

Any nursing home that won't freely give you contact information for other families would be suspect in my eyes.
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