What should I do when a parent needs to go into nursing home?

Informed decision. Visit facility, ask about ratio of patients to nurses, cnas; look at rooms -- see if they're private, semi-private, etc. Compare nursing homes by rating-- medicare website is one of them: http://www.Medicare.Gov/quality-care-finder/#nursing-home-compare also, when a nursing home has been surveyed by a state oversight agency, it should have the results of survey readily available for you to look.