If your loved one needs the care and attention that a nursing home provides, you may feel overwhelmed regarding how to choose a nursing home that meets their needs and expectations. Make sure to do your research and take your time regarding your decision, so that you ensure that your loved one is safe and comfortable in their new home. If you want to find a good nursing home, here are some ways to find a perfect match.
Be Sure to Properly Research Facilities
If you’re wondering how to find a good nursing home, your first step should be to conduct research before you visit any nursing homes. Government records and other public documents exist that indicate the track record or disciplinary actions regarding nursing homes. Many records exist online, such as Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare which posts nursing home ratings as well as inspection documents. ProPublica’s Nursing Home Inspect will also provide data from government records along with ranking nursing homes.
Visit the Nursing Home Facility in Person
After you narrow down your search, your next step is to visit the facility in person. If possible, take your loved one with you so that they can feel as if they have a say in where they will live and get an opportunity to communicate their likes and dislikes. Attempt to choose facilities that are close to your home so that visiting your loved one will be easier. Additionally, when the nursing home staff knows that relatives of their residents live close and visit often, there is a greater chance they will take better care.
While at the nursing home, make sure to inspect several areas of the facility as well as residents, including the following:
- Inspect all areas that a resident may visit, including bathrooms, common areas, or dining rooms. Make sure to also inspect lesser thought-of areas, such as elevators or closets. Inspect kitchens or where preparation of food occurs to ensure cleanliness.
- Pay attention to the nursing home staff and see how they interact with residents, and if they know their names. Also, see if the nursing home staff washes their hands regularly and keeps the residents’ areas and the rest of the facility clean.
- Request typical schedules, such as medication distribution, meals, bathing, and cleaning of nursing home residents’ rooms.
- Look at the residents’ rooms to see if they are clean and welcoming.
- Look at the residents themselves to see if they are clean and have proper hygiene.
When looking at a nursing home, you should not make a decision based on the “chandelier effect,” focusing on fancy decor or pretty furniture. While these amenities may make the facility look beautiful, you truly want a safe and healthy place for your loved one when you want to find a good nursing home.
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Keep Your Loved One’s Personal Preferences in Mind
Every family and every loved one will have personal preferences with respect to how they live and what amenities are most important to them. Make sure that the size of the nursing home is agreeable to your loved one. Some elderly residents want to engage in a lot of activities, and they would prefer to be in larger nursing homes. Whatever size nursing home facility you choose, ensure they have adequate staffing to ensure your loved one’s safety and needs.
Other personal preferences would include the food provided, services such as rehabilitation or occupational therapy units on-site, activities such as games or entertainment, transportation to nearby stores or events, telephones and televisions in resident rooms, freedom to decorate the room freely, or the ability to self-determine issues such as waking time or what to do with their day. Some nursing homes even allow residents to have their own pets.
Understanding what different options nursing homes offer, along with knowing the preferences of your elderly loved one can help you match both up to ensure you find a good nursing home for your family member.
Watch out for Red Flags
Some nursing homes are not just a bad fit but actually dangerous. Some of the red flags you may encounter when visiting or researching nursing homes can include:
- History of violations.
- Bad reputation online from reviews.
- Severe violations, such as allowing a resident to wander or “elope” off-campus.
- Inaccessible administrators.
- Visibly stressed or understaffed workers.
- Bad “gut feeling”.
Ultimately, choosing a nursing home for your loved one is a challenging and complex process. Make sure to give yourself and your loved one the time and research this decision requires in order to avoid any rash decisions that result in poor care or abuse.
Contact a Nursing Home Law Firm
If you believe that your loved one’s nursing home staff abused or neglected them in any kind of emotional, physical, sexual, or financial injury, please contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you ensure the protection of your legal rights.