When choosing a nursing home for your loved one, focus on four main principles: location, quality of life, level of care, and cost. There are many underlying factors that support each of these principles. Below are various tips to help you grade a facility in each category.
The first step in the process is to identify potential nursing homes in your desired geographical location. Generate a list of facilities in that location and review their ratings. Nursing homes are rated on a scale of one to five stars. Medicare.gov offers a Nursing Home Compare option, which allows the user to compare nursing homes in a specific zip code, city, or state. Each nursing home is rated in four different areas, including:
- Overall Rating
- Health Inspections
- Quality Measures
Schedule a Visit
The next step is to schedule a visit with the highest-rated nursing homes on your list. When visiting, ask tough questions. Pay attention to the residents. Do they appear happy, comfortable, and well groomed? Similar attention should be paid to staff and staffing policies. Do staff members appear to enjoy their jobs? Are they warm and friendly when interacting with residents? A very clear indicator of unhappy staff is heavy turnover. Ask workers how long they have been employed at that particular facility.
An important component of high-level care is “consistent assignment,” which means that nurses and aides care for the same residents on the majority of their shifts. Consistent assignment allows residents to build relationships with certain nurses or aides, providing an added level of comfort and security. This is also helpful when a resident suffers from conditions such as dementia. When residents can consistently work with a particular staff member who is trained to handle their specific conditions, it can have a significantly positive impact on quality of life.
Safety and Cleanliness
The condition of the building should be closely observed. Cleanliness and safety are paramount in a nursing home. Foul odors, such as urine or trash, could indicate poor cleaning practices. Similarly, take notice of any potential safety hazards such as frayed carpets and the absence of fire extinguishers. The facility should be diligent in meeting state health and safety standards.
Contact Malman Law
The attorneys at Malman Law have years of experience helping victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. While the majority of nursing homes have their residents’ best interests in mind, this is not always the case. We have helped countless clients obtain financial compensation for nursing home abuse and neglect. Illinois nursing home residents have a broad range of rights about how they should be treated. We can help if you believe your care, or the care of a loved one, was unreasonable, negligent, or injurious. Malman Law will fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.