How to Choose a Nursing Home and Other Resources
As the population of the United States continues to age, more Americans need the services of skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes than ever before. In fact, it is estimated that by 2040, 2.7 million people are going to require these services. If you or someone you love are in this group, then you may want to know how to find a quality facility. With over 16,000 facilities in the U.S., choosing the right one can seem like a difficult process.
Here you can learn more about selecting a nursing home facility for your care or your loved one that will provide the quality, experienced services you require and deserve.
Utilize Available Resources
One of the best ways to begin the process of choosing a nursing home is to use the resources that are available online. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is the federal agency that oversees the Medicare program, you can use a database they provide found at https://www.medicare.gov/. Here you can compare nursing homes in your area, which is an option at the bottom of the page.
This database will allow you to search for nursing homes according to their location, the name of the facility or other characteristics and factors that are important to you. The site also offers a rating regarding the quality of the nursing home, ranging from five to one star, with five representing the best. This database also provides you with other information that can help with your decision, including results from health inspections, the staff members of the facility, fire safety ratings, and other important factors. You can also find which nursing homes are considered the most problematic, which are referred to as “special focus facilities”.
Other resources that may be beneficial to your search include:
- Memberofthefamily.net, which offers federal nursing home data
- HealthGrades.com offers quality findings on nursing homes across the country
- Consumerreports.org provides information on nursing homes and assisted living facilities
A Nursing Home – Actionable Steps
In addition to utilizing the information and resources provided above, there are a few additional tips you can use to help ensure you choose the best nursing home for your needs or the needs of your loved one.
Visit the Facility
One of the first things you should do when considering a nursing home is visit the facility. You cannot learn about the environment, residents or staff without ever setting foot on the property. During your visit, make sure to observe what is going on, ask questions and consider the following:
- Taste the food. Does it taste good? Do they offer options? Does the eating area seem clean and inviting?
- Listen to what is going on. Do you hear yelling or moaning? How does the staff treat the residents?
- What does it smell like? If you encounter bad smells throughout the facility, this may be an indication of unsanitary living conditions.
- Does the staff seem overworked? If so, they may be short with residents, disinterested in helping or just unattached and uncaring. These are not the signs of a quality facility.
- How do residents spend their time? Are there activities and events? Does the staff encourage residents to participate?
As you can see, there are quite a few things that have to be considered when selecting a nursing home facility. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are serious problems that are running rampant in facilities across the United States. By using the tips and information here, you can help avoid these situations.
However, if you ever discover that your elderly loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is best to utilize the services of an attorney. They can help you handle the situation and minimize the impact of the neglect, as well as begin to right the wrong that has been done.