The decision to place a loved one into a nursing home or long-term care facility can be an incredibly difficult one. The fear that loved ones will not get the care they need, or the fear that they will fall victim to nursing home abuse or neglect will be undoubtedly be present. Therefore, it is very important that you feel comfortable with the facility that you choose. Doing your research before you place your loved one into a facility is a vital part of the decision process. We write about all of the horror stories that occur in nursing homes, but there are good facilities out there, you just have to find them.
Steps to Choosing the Right Nursing Home for Your Loved One
Make a List: The first thing that you need to do when choosing a nursing home is to make a list of local facilities. It is important that you look in an area that is close to family and friends. Your loved one may feel isolated and the presence of family and friends in the area can serve to keep their spirits up. There are several agencies and websites that can give you a list of nursing homes in the area to start from. Eldercare Locator is a good site that will connect you to agencies in your area.
Research: Once you have a list of homes in your desired area, you should then start doing some research on each home to eliminate the ones that have bad track records. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rank all of the nursing homes in the nation on a scale of one to five stars. By visiting the Medicare website, you can see which facilities have good and bad rankings based on health inspections, staffing, incidents and other factors. The Ombudsman office, a government office that investigates nursing home complaints, is a good resource to find out more about the homes you are considering. Doing a general Google search on these facilities can also be helpful to see if any of them have been in the news for nursing home abuse or neglect.
Call the Facilities: Once you have eliminated some facilities based on your research, you should call the homes left on your list. You should be asking questions to find out if they have availability at this time, what they charge, what their specialties are, and if they accept Medicaid. You should also explain any special needs your loved one has, to make sure the facility has the capabilities to handle any special cases.
Visit the Facilities: You should schedule a visit with your top choices to take a tour of the facility. While you are there, make sure to be very observant; notice the cleanliness, the smell, the equipment, the food, and the staff. Look to see if the residents seem happy. Is the staff attentive to the patients or do they seem overworked? If possible, talk to the residents and their families to ask if they are happy with the facility. You should also talk to the administrator or other staff member of authority to ask questions about staff screening, background checks, training procedures and staff turnover rates.
It may seem like a lot to remember, but make yourself a checklist of things that you want to learn about each nursing home before you go on your visit. Nursing home abuse and neglect are preventable. Doing your research and avoiding facilities that show red flags will increase your loved one’s safety.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If your loved one is currently a resident of a nursing home or care facility and you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.