Choosing a Nursing Home for Your Loved One

Posted On: March 15, 2017 under

The decision to move your loved one into a nursing home is one of the most difficult you will ever make. Even if you know it’s the best way to keep your loved one safe and well cared for, it can be mentally, emotionally, and financially taxing to find the right home. However, you don’t have to feel alone and overwhelmed during the search process. There is a lot of information available now to assist you in narrowing down your choices to the one that best fits your loved one’s needs. Ensure that your loved one is being cared for, and consult with a skilled Chattanooga nursing home neglect attorney if you are concerned about nursing home negligence. Choosing a nursing home for your loved one can be challenging, learn more about what to look at when you visit potential nursing homes.

Here is a brief list of what you can and should check when reviewing nursing homes. Because a decision this important should never be undertaken lightly, consider this a starting point and make sure you give yourself time to do your research. Since the only way to get a true sense of what a nursing home is like is to visit it and closely observe the staff and residents interacting, some of these questions can be asked of the administration and some should only be answered by your own observation in both scheduled and unscheduled visits.

The Facility

  • Is it conveniently located so that family and friends can visit?
  • Is it licensed by Medicaid, Medicare, and the state? Are all necessary state and federal inspections up to date?
  • Is it clean, safe (i.e., no dangerous objects are left out where residents can injure themselves, emergency exits are well marked), well organized, and pleasant?
  • Is it well designed for use as a nursing home? For example, are there nurse call buttons and privacy curtains with each bed, and do bathrooms have hand grips in the showers and next to the toilets?
  • Is there a hospital nearby in case of emergency?
  • What kinds of therapy are available at the nursing home?
  • Does your loved one like the facility and feel comfortable there?

The Services

  • Does the staff provide activities for the residents, both at the home and outside of the home?
  • Are the residents able to spend time outside in a nice location?
  • Are accommodations made for residents’ religious preferences?

The Cost

  • How are services paid for? Is there a daily rate that covers most of them?
  • Are Medicare and/or Medicaid accepted?

The People

  • How are staff members screened and trained?
  • What number of residents is each staff member responsible for during the day, and is there consistency in who cares for each resident?
  • Does the staff treat the residents with care and respect, listening to them and keeping them clean and well-groomed, well-fed and comfortable?
  • Does the home seem understaffed?
  • Is a registered nurse always on duty? What about a doctor?

These questions only address the basics of what you should examine when looking at nursing homes, but if your loved one has specific physical or mental needs (i.e., a physical disability or Alzheimer’s), make sure to find out whether the home can carefully, competently, and kindly handle these, too. If you check all of these things, you can feel more confident that you are choosing a nursing home for your loved one, a place where your loved one will be happy and safe and truly feel at home.

If you believe that your loved one is being abused at their nursing home, consult a dedicated Chattanooga nursing home abuse attorney, and see if you can submit a claim.