Nursing Home Safety

When making the choice to place a loved one in a nursing home, one must be thorough in their research to find the best and safest facility. Slowly but surely, laws are being passed to ensure the safety of residents in every nursing home, but there are still precautions to take. Finding top-quality care can take time, but in the end ensures the happiness, healthiness, and overall best security for your loved one.

Start with The Basics

Medicare.gov provides a printable checklist to help you take the right steps in choosing a nursing facility. Most importantly, Medicare.gov also provides inspection reports for nursing homes by state, and report results should always be posted within the facility. You can also visit Nursing Home Compare from their site, to compare ratings of different facilities in your area easily.

On Your First Visit

Explore what you see aside from what the facility looks like upon entry. Just like a hotel or apartment complex, nursing homes spend money on public areas like the lobby to attract first time visitors, but an upscale entryway is not enough to make a final decision. Ask to see resident rooms, meet internal staff, and pay attention to the way they communicate with you, each other, and other residents as you walk by and interact. You can even go a step beyond and ask to be connected with another residents’ family and hear about their experiences.

When There Isn’t Enough Time

Sometimes a senior needs immediate care following a trip to the hospital, and time to find a facility is limited. An ombudsman is an advocate for individuals with complaints about maladministration, and your local ombudsman can be found at www.itcombudsman.org. They can, at the very least, look over the facilities the hospital has recommended, and give you their opinions or some idea of local placements.

Look for Red Flags

Don’t sign any agreement until you have an attorney or ombudsman look over it with you. You never want to unknowingly sign away your rights in case of any abuse, neglect, or victimization, and contracts can be somewhat tricky in their wording. If anything is questionable, have a professional discuss it with you.

What’s Happening Now

New laws are being made to protect residents and their families from binding arbitration. Some facilities in the industry are fighting back against this, and they may be the ones to avoid. FamiliesForBetterCare.com is a non-profit group dedicated to nursing home safety. Their site is an excellent resource for nursing home news and safety updates.

To begin your search for a quality nursing facilitiy, you can visit this site: http://www.floridahealthfinder.gov/facilitylocator/FacilitySearch

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