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Ten tips for finding good nursing home care

Perhaps this is the first time you’ve had to look for a nursing home, or perhaps you’re looking to relocate a loved one after a bad experience with deficient nursing home care; regardless, the nursing home you choose will have a direct impact on the quality of your family member’s life.
 
Unfortunately, this decision often has to made in a hurry. If your relative is moving to a nursing home from the hospital, you can appeal under Medicare to extend their stay for two days. This will give you extra time to check out nursing homes in your area.  
  
Here are some tips.
  
1. Get the names of local nursing homes and care facilities.
The Eldercare Locator (800) 677-1116 can refer you to the local agency on aging. In Atlanta, you can call GeorgiaCares at (800) 669-8387. They will also be able to give you a number for your local ombudman, a government official whos job is to investigate nursing home complaints and to advocate on he behalf of nursing home residents and their families.
 
2. Check Consumer Reports Nursing Home Quality Monitor.
This monitoring system is based on state quality reviews. You can use the site to cross potentially bad nursing homes off your list. Cross out anything that scored poorly on at least two of the three dimensions of quality. Also cross out homes that have been fined by the state.  You can also check the ratings on the government’s Nursing Home Compare website.
  
3. Check who owns the facility.
Independent not-for-profit facilities tend to provide better care than for-profit chains.
  
4.Check with your local ombudsman.
He should be able to give you information about the homes in your area.
  
5. Visit the homes.
When you’ve narrowed down your list, make unannounced visits.
 

6. Read each homes Form 2567.
This is the nursing home’s state inspection survey. It should be readily accessible. If you have difficulty obtaining it, take that as a warning sign.
 
7. Visit the homes again.
Visit in the late morning to see how many residents are still in bed and how residents spend their days. If a facility has too few caregivers, they may not be able to get residents up until later in the day. Visit at meals. If many residents are eating in their rooms, this could also be a bad sign.
 
8. Talk to the administrator.
Ask how long they have been at their job. It is a positive sign if top level management has been there for any years. A lot of turnover could indicate quality problems. Ask about the facility and their thoughts on elder care. Go with your gut feelings; if you feel something is wrong, there probably is.
  
9. Talk to friends.
Your very best source for advice and references are friends who have gone through the same thing. They can tell you about positive experiences or warn you about negative ones.
    
10. Trust your feelings
If you don't feel right about something, then there may be something wrong. Trust your intuition. 
  
Your parents and grandparents cared for you and you want to do the best for them. At Kaufman Law, we feel your loved ones deserve the very best, and we hope these tips help you to find it. But, if it turns out that your loved one is being abused or neglected in anyway, there is something you can do. Contact Kaufman Law’s nursing home negligence and abuse specialists to learn more.

 

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