How Do You Choose a Nursing Home?

Updated on February 16, 2023

Life in a nursing home shouldn’t be an unpleasant experience. These facilities offer a wide range of services both for the elderly and for individuals who need specialized care. It’s estimated that 1.6 million people live in nursing homes all across America. If you are considering placing your loved one in a home, you are far from alone.

However, not all nursing homes are the same. As Lawyer Harrison experts put it- it’s in your best interest to do your research before you commit to a facility. In this article, you will learn about the qualities of a good nursing home and how to make this big decision.

Consider the Location of the Facility

When looking for a nursing home, the location should be a factor. The biggest challenge with nursing homes is the separation from friends and family. You want your family to be able to visit your loved one in the care home regularly. Nursing home residents who are routinely visited often get better care.

Be practical when thinking of a location. A place you can drive to after work would be a great choice. If there are no suitable facilities in your area, look for alternatives close to other family members. This way, you’ll know someone else will be visiting when you are unavailable.

Do Your Homework

It is now easier to find out which facilities to avoid. Nursing Home Compare is a tool that was introduced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. It flags any facilities with reports of improper patient care like nursing home neglect or abuse.

This tool also allows you to comb through health inspection reports of each facility to see their ratings. All you have to do is to type in the state and the name of the facility. This is a great place to start doing your research and narrow down your options.

Visit the Facility

It’s not enough to just read reviews online. The reports might be exaggerated or outdated. It would be best if you physically visited the facility to see what it is like. During the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to observe interactions between the staff and the residents, including how quickly the team responds to the patients’ needs.

You may also want to arrange for a second unguided tour to get behind-the-scenes insight. Take in the smells, sights, and sounds of the facility. Everything counts, from the food selections at lunch to the sanitary levels of the washrooms.

Ask About Their Services 

Although the law requires nursing homes to provide essential services such as meals, accommodation, medical supervision, and social activities, there are additional services that are not mandatory but could improve the quality of life at the facility. This may include speech therapy, a pharmacy, a laboratory, and dental services.

If the patient has unique medical needs, then these extra services can make all the difference. Some of these medical needs may include:

This list includes patients with kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, hospice, and people with disabilities. Inquire if the facility provides healthy options for people with dietary restrictions.

Read the Contract Carefully

Signing a contract is the last step before officially moving into a nursing home. Most people are tempted to scan through the paperwork and sign without reading the fine print or fully understanding the terms. You should always read the fine print and be ready to question the administration about anything that is unclear.

Bring a friend or family member to help you review the admission paperwork. Do not sign any paperwork that makes you personally liable for the payments or that demand that the patient waives their rights to government assistance.

You should always do your research before committing to any nursing home. It reduces the chances of your loved one becoming another victim of poor care in nursing homes. The information in this article may help you identify red flags before it’s too late.

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