Any family considering a nursing home for an aging or incapacitated loved one is, unfortunately, expected to trust the nursing home without knowing about many issues which can affect the love one's quality of care. Choosing a quality nursing home is one of the most important decisions you have to make. To help you choose a quality nursing home for yourself or a loved one, you should consider the following:
1. What is the staffing ratio of patients to care providers? Nursing homes may have too many patients for the number of staff to care for them.
2. What kind of training do the care providers have? Staff members may not be adequately trained to deal with the multitude of health problems they must address.
3. Are restraints or bed rails used in the nursing homes you are considering? Find out what policies and procedures are in place for the use of restraints and bed rails.
4. How does the nursing home Administrator monitor and supervise the nursing home staff? There should be a procedure in place for administrators to ensure their nursing home staff are treating patients properly.
5. Has the nursing home been cited by the state's governing agency for deficiencies related to patient care? State and/or federal agencies conduct inspections of nursing homes on a periodic basis. You should be wary of a nursing home that has been repeatedly cited for deficiencies related to patient care.
6. How long has the nursing home been in business? Who owns and runs the nursing home? How long has that person run the nursing home?
7. Is there sufficient room in all areas for a person in a wheelchair or one needing a walker to get around? Are wheelchair ramps provided for easy access into and out of the nursing home?
8. Are there features in the facility to help prevent falls, such as handrails in the hallways and grab bars in the bathrooms? In the case of an emergency, are call bells in bathrooms, bedrooms and communal areas?
9. Does the nursing home look reasonably comfortable, clean and safe? Does the nursing home smell good? Is there clutter in the hallways? Do the nursing stations appear organized?
10. What services are paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance? What services must the resident pay for? Get a copy of the fee schedule so you can compare it with the fee schedules of other homes.
If you think a loved one might have experienced abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact us online or call our law firm on our nationwide, toll-free number, 1-800-320-2384.