Searching for the Right Nursing Home? Don’t Forget Facebook.

Many families struggle to identify which nursing home will be right for their loved one. It is sometimes difficult to find information which might differentiate one nursing home from another.  One source that some may not immediately consider is Facebook and other websites where consumers can post reviews, such as Yelp.  According to an article appearing in the New York Times on May 9, 2019, Facebook has 2.3 billion active monthly users.  These users include nursing homes in our community who maintain a profile where others can post comments and leave reviews detailing past experiences with the nursing home. Anyone considering information posted on Facebook or other review sites should consider that a comment or review may not come from a reliable source. This concern obviously applies to both positive and negative reviews, but can be mitigated in part through greater sample sizes. A nursing home with a limited number of reviews makes it difficult to gauge the experience a loved one may receive.  However, if there are a large number of reviews posted, a consumer is better able to gauge the overall experience.  Careful attention should be paid to negative reviews.  While it is certainly true that a small percentage of consumers might have a negative experience in any industry, negative reviews that provide specific and detailed information should be considered carefully. This information should be balanced with questions to the facility and review of information posted about nursing homes by regulatory agencies like the New York State Department of Health and the Nursing Home Compare website offered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  If the nursing home you are considering has an above average rate of negative information from all of these sources, you are likely wise to keep looking.