People move into nursing homes for a variety of reasons including chronic illness or disease, disability, sickness, for therapy or rehabilitation after an accident, or to get better after a surgery or sickness. Selecting a nursing home for yourself or a loved one can be an unknown, difficult, and stressful process. At Brown, Christie & Green, we want you to know that you are not alone as you move through this process. In this article, our nursing home abuse attorney offers some helpful advice on how to choose a nursing home.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Offers Advice on How to Choose a Nursing Home
Once you have some idea of where geographically you want the nursing home to be, the next step is selecting a few nursing homes to shortlist for further review. There are thousands of nursing homes, and it is easy to be overwhelmed at the amount of information provided, the sales pitches, and the promises of what the facility offers. Shortlisting a few facilities will help you narrow down what is really important to you and your family.
Next, you can further review your shortlisted facilities by doing the following:
- Check Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website.
Type in a location (Example: City, State) and the Medicare.gov website will give you a list of all results within your area and provide you with ratings for: 1) Overall rating; 2) Health inspections; 3) Staffing; 4) Quality measures; 5) Distance. It also lets you compare up to three nursing homes at a time. Nursing home abuse attorney Charles Brown suggests that you check out this website at the beginning of your nursing home search and compare various nursing homes prior to visiting them.
- Talk to people you trust, including your family and friends.
Talk to people that you trust, such as family members or friends, and ask whether or not they have experience with particular nursing homes. See what advice they have to offer, as they may be able to recommend a good facility to you.
- Seek advice from your medical professional(s).
Check and see if your loved one’s medical professional treats at a particular nursing home and whether or not they suggest a particular facility. If possible, they may be able to continue treatment for you or your loved one if they have a relationship with the facility that you choose. Doctors and nurses often have a keen awareness to how nursing homes operate at various times, and in various situations.
- Ask to visit the exact hall and room that you or your loved one will be staying in.
When visiting different facilities make sure to visit the exact hall and room that you or your loved one will be staying in. It is important to gain as much information about day-to-day life and activities in the facility as possible. Take note of things like – is the room clean? Does the facility have a calming atmosphere or is it chaotic, unkempt, or unfriendly? What are other residents doing while you are there? Do they look bored and uninterested?
- Ask to meet and speak to each of the charge nurses that will be working on that hall.
Get to know the people who will be treating and spending time with you and your loved ones. If you are particularly concerned, write down the names of caregivers or providers and see if there is information available online.
- Spend one hour in the cafeteria at dinnertime or in the common area during the day.
Ask yourself: Is this a place that you would want to live in? How does the food smell and taste? What is the general attitude among kitchen and wait staff? Talk to residents about the atmosphere in common areas.
- Evaluate the facility with all of your senses. Observe to find out how the staff treats the residents.
Our nursing home abuse attorney recommends paying attention to the following:
- Listen to see how the staff treats the residents.
- Listen for screaming at the residents or even by the residents.
- How does the staff speak to one another and to the residents?
- Look for signs of poor maintenance.
- Look at the residents. Do they appear to be clean, content, well-fed, and well-hydrated?
- Do you see signs of overmedication?
- Taste the food. Does it seem to be prepared by a kitchen that takes pride in preparing quality food? Do the ingredients appear to be of good quality?
- Does the facility smell clean, or does it smell of ammonia and illness? If you visit on different days and at different times does the clean smell remain?
- Touch the doors, chairs, and beds. Do they feel well-maintained? Does the facility’s equipment feel like it is in good condition and high quality?
- If visiting at night, or if the resident plans to come and go, how well secured is the property? Is there security staff onsite? What about doors – do they lock at certain hours?
- If the resident will be involved in therapy ask to meet with the therapists and observe a class.
Visit with the therapists and actually sit in on a class. Also, do not simply rely on a posted schedule.
- Ask whether or not a management company runs the facility.
If a management company does run the facility check out the Medicare scores for each of that company’s facilities. This will help you get a better understanding as to how much pride the management company takes in its work and in its treatment of residents.
Have Questions about Choosing a Nursing Home?
If you have questions or need additional information about how to choose a nursing home, contact our nursing home abuse attorney to learn more. At Brown, Christie & Green, our attorneys offer legal guidance and support that you and your family can count on. Whether you are choosing a nursing home, believe that a loved one has been abused, or need to know about filing a lawsuit, our team can help.
At Brown, Christie & Green, we represent clients who have been injured in nursing homes, hospitals, surgical centers, or any healthcare facility. We help clients with healthcare negligence claims relating to nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, sepsis, birth injuries, VA claims, and more. Fill out our online form to learn more about how our nursing home abuse attorney can help you.