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How to Choose the Right Nursing Home for a Loved One

Colburn Law

For many families, nursing homes offer the optimal care and amenities to care for elderly loved ones or relatives with special needs. However, it can be difficult to choose the right facility, especially when nursing home abuse is so rampant in the United States.

If you are searching for the right nursing home for a loved one, make sure to conduct thorough research. Take the following considerations into account to identify the best option for your relative and obtain the care that he or she needs.

Choosing The Right Nursing Home

Consider Your Loved One’s Needs

Different nursing facilities offer unique amenities and services to meet residents’ needs. For example, some homes specialize in hospice care or have special wards for dementia patients. Others serve residents with a specific religious affiliation.

When creating a list of nursing homes to visit, research facilities and see if they are equipped to meet your loved one’s special needs. This process can help narrow down your search as you plan physical visits.

You should also brainstorm other requirements with your loved one and family members. For example, your relative may want a facility with good food or a social enrichment program. You may want to pick a facility that is close enough to visit.

Seek Recommendations from Trusted People

It can be difficult to know whether a nursing home provides good care. In these situations, word-of-mouth recommendations can inform your search and help you understand whether a facility is the right fit for your loved one.

Ask friends, family, social workers, religious leaders, and other trusted individuals about which nursing homes they suggest. If you are able, speak to your loved one’s health care provider and see if he or she has a recommendation.

Research the Facility Online

Next, research potential facilities online. You can look up reviews on search engines to read reviews from residents and their families. You can also leverage healthcare comparison tools available on Medicare’s website.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) operate a Five-Star Quality Rating System that helps families compare different nursing homes. Nursing homes are graded on several criteria based on their quality of care. Using the CMS’s tool, you can evaluate the overall rating for the facility as well as separate ratings for recent health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. You can also view full health inspection reports and learn about past complaints and violations.

Plan In-Person Visits

Once you create a list of potential nursing homes, plan to visit each facility in person at least twice. Pay attention to your surroundings and the interactions between staff members and any residents.

During your visit, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the facility. You can use the Medicare Nursing Home Checklist to keep track of important considerations, such as the following.

  • Handicap access
  • Furniture comfort and condition
  • Lighting and temperature
  • The cleanliness of the facility
  • The hygiene and appearance of residents
  • Medicare and Medicaid certifications
  • Fee transparency

Speak to an Attorney

While these measures can help you identify a facility for your loved one, nursing home abuse can still occur. If your loved one has experienced this type of mistreatment, he or she may be eligible for legal action against the facility. Speak to a Seattle nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.