People go to 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.

When selecting a nursing home for your loved ones it can be an unknown, difficult, and stressful decision to make. Our nursing home abuse attorneys give some brief advice on how to choose a nursing home for your loved ones.

Elder holding hands

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Give Advice on How to Choose a Nursing Home

  1. Check Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website.

Type in a location (Example: City, State) and the 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. Our nursing home abuse attorneys suggest that you check out this website at the beginning of your nursing home search and compare various nursing homes prior to visiting them.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 if they have a relationship with the facility that you choose.

  1. Ask to visit the exact hall and room that your loved one will be staying in.

When visiting different facilities make sure to visit the exact hall and room that your loved one will be in. It is important to gain as much information about their day-to-day life and activities as possible. Is their room clean? Does the facility have a calming atmosphere or is it chaotic, unkempt, or unfriendly?

  1. 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 your loved one.

  1. 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?

  1. Evaluate the facility with all of your senses. Observe to find out how the staff treats the residents. 
  • 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?
  1. 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.

  1. 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.

If you need additional information about how to choose a nursing home, please contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Brown & Brothers law firm. The Brown & Brothers law firm represents clients who have been injured in nursing homes. These injuries may include, but are not limited to death, dehydration and malnutrition, sepsis, bedsores or decubitus ulcers, abuse and neglect, falls and broken bones, weight loss, head injuries, and overdose.

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