It is never an easy decision to move a loved one into a long-term care facility. And once you make the choice, you still need to find the right nursing home to fit their needs. If your parent, grandparent, or spouse needs to move into a Pennsylvania or New Jersey nursing home, be sure to thoroughly research the facilities in the area to choose one equipped to meet their needs.
Here are seven tips to help you make a more informed decision when choosing a nursing home for your loved one:
1. Gather information from the Department of Health.
Many states — including both Pennsylvania and New Jersey — task their Department of Health with oversight of nursing homes and other skilled nursing facilities. They can provide you with a list of nearby facilities, and offer tools to help you narrow your list of choices. You can use your state’s online search to help you find a New Jersey nursing home, or find the right Bucks County nursing home for your loved one.
2. Ask for inspection reports.
Before they can accept money from Medicare or Medicaid, a nursing home must receive certification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In order to get this certification, officials inspect facilities for health and safety-related factors. Only inspected homes with a passing score receive CMS certification. Any nursing home that accepts Medicare or Medicaid should be able to provide its most recent inspection report and proof of certification.
3. Consider the history of complaints.
The state should follow up on any complaints of neglect and investigate reports of other types of nursing home abuse. You may also obtain the results of annual facility surveys and other information collected from residents and their families about the quality of care from the Department of Health.
4. Assess the overall condition of the nursing home.
No matter how many people you talk to about a potential facility for your loved one, visit the facility to see it with your own eyes. While you are there, take careful note of the overall cleanliness of the facility, whether you see any safety concerns, or if the maintenance and repair appear to be lacking. Visiting in person can be a good way to see if your loved one feels comfortable there – and whether you feel comfortable sending them there.
5. Opt for a well-staffed facility.
While simply having a large staff does not mean that a nursing home is safe, being understaffed is a major concern. If a nursing home does not have adequate staff, it may struggle to provide proper care. Ask about nurse-to-resident ratios and number of nursing hours per resident per day in order to choose a home where your loved one will receive the care they deserve.
6. Discuss safety protocol and other rules.
Do not hesitate to ask nursing home administrators about their rules and regulations, as well as their procedures to keep residents safe from falls and other hazards. Look for a facility with fall prevention protocol and tools, as well as other means of ensuring all residents get proper care. And ask about how they handle inevitable falls – do they provide proper care and evaluation of residents who fall?
7. Ask about social engagement and staying active.
Know how your loved one will spend his or her days at the facility. Ask about opportunities for social interaction with other residents, as well as options to stay active if your loved one is able. Many nursing facilities offer a variety of activities to keep residents socially engaged and as active as possible. And many facilities even offer in-room activities for residents unable to leave their rooms.
Cordisco & Saile LLC: Your Bucks County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Sometimes, you cannot prevent injuries to your loved one, even with thorough research into the nursing facilities in the area. If your loved one suffers injuries from neglect or abuse, a nursing home abuse lawyer at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you recover compensation that enables your loved one to get the care they need. Call 215-642-2335 to schedule a free initial consultation.