When a loved one’s wellbeing is at stake, picking the right nursing is difficult, especially when many have a history of neglect and abuse. Infection outbreaks, neglect, abuse, and other lapses in care have become too common in American nursing homes. However, not all facilities fall below the standard of care and the right amount of scrutiny and research will help keep your family safe. Everyone deserves dignity, and this guide will help you ensure that your loved one receives it.
According to experts, it’s never too late to start your search for a nursing home early, even if you don’t need one immediately. The need for a nursing home can be sudden. So, it can be wise to narrow your options, even if you’re unsure you’ll use any of them.
How to Find a Good Nursing Home
There are likely far too many nursing homes in your area to visit in person. Starting your search online will help you identify which nursing homes are a viable option. There are a variety of online resources that provide user reviews of nursing homes. However, user reviews should not be the only measurement that determines good nursing homes.
Resources such as Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare and ProPublica’s Nursing Home Inspect are a great way to narrow your source. These websites provide recent inspection documents and provide reports that contextualize nursing home ratings. Importantly, verify that any website you’re using is operated by a government agency or a non-profit organization.
Details to pay attention to include the following:
- A high rating for staffing levels
- Details from both great reviews and poor reviews
- Any history of infection outbreaks
- When the home last received fines citations
- How many health citations a home has received overall
- Medicaid and Medicare certifications
Visiting a Home
Once you’re satisfied with your online research of nearby nursing facilities, it’s time to visit each one in person. Seeing a nursing home for yourself can provide you with valuable insight into the facility that you can’t get online. While visiting, pay attention to how residents appear. Look for residents with a disheveled appearance or those who appeared to be poorly cared for. Look for signs of a bad nursing home such as poor hygiene, bruises, and other signs of neglect with residents.
Additionally, pay close attention to the staff and environment of a nursing home. Staff should be attentive and personal with residents. Take note of how friendly staff members are with residents and if they know them by name. A sign of a good nursing home is friendly, warm, and familiar interactions between staff and residents. After your initial visit, make an unannounced one to the facility once again. This way, you can catch the staff in a moment they weren’t planning on a visit.
Finally, look at the condition of the building. Minor details such as frayed carpets or uneven flooring might seem minor but are potential falling hazards. A nursing home should always correct any issues with their building, no matter how minor they might seem.
Pick a Home that Suits Your Loved One’s Needs
Even if a nursing home has a clean record and high ratings, it still might not be an ideal facility for your loved one. Find out what activities a nursing home offers and determine if they align with your family member’s interests. Additionally, consider your loved one’s religious preferences. Make sure a nursing home can accommodate any special diets, practices, and other customs of your loved one’s faith. Even the best nursing home in the country isn’t a great option if your loved one can’t be themselves inside it.
Find out whether a nursing home has residents share rooms. If your loved one values their privacy, it’s important to find a nursing home that provides them with a private room. Even if a private room is more expensive, your family member can benefit significantly from having the private space they desire. However, some nursing home residents value the personal relationships they build while sharing a room with another person.
What Good Nursing Homes Have in Common
While you might need to make sure a specific home is a fit for your loved one, all good nursing homes have specific qualities in common. These qualities are universal necessities to create a safe and beneficial environment for elderly living.
Good nursing homes have qualities such as:
- Adequate staffing
- Low staff turnover rates
- Transparent contracts
- Allowing residents to make their own decisions
- A focus on individual needs
- Flexible visiting hours
- Plenty of activities
If your loved one suffered because of a nursing home that had a duty to provide the above but hurt them instead, help is available. HHR has fought to hold negligent nursing homes accountable for their behavior. No family should suffer because a nursing homeowner, management, or staff failed to provide the care they should. We’ve earned results for families looking for help, and we’re ready to fight to do the same for yours.
Call HHR’s nursing home abuse lawyers today at (888) 498-3023 for a free consultation. We’re ready to hear your story and help you explore your options. Importantly, we’ll only collect a fee if we obtain results for you and your family.