Choosing a Nursing Home – How to Find the Right One
As an adult child, deciding that a parent needs the type of care that can only be provided by a nursing home is a heart-wrenching decision. While difficult to make, it may be necessary to keep your parent safe from harm and/or to ensure that your parent has access to much-needed medical care. Once the decision has been made, the next step is to choose the best facility, a task that can be equally difficult. The Coral Gables elder law attorneys at Stivers Law help you find the right nursing home for your parent.
What You Need to Know about Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse and/or neglect stories seem to be everywhere. As you start to look for a nursing home for your parent, those stories will undoubtedly have you wondering if nursing home abuse is as bad as the media makes it sound in the U.S. Fortunately, there are plenty of nursing homes that provide compassionate and competent care to residents. There are facilities, however, that put profits above patients and allow abuse and neglect to flourish. Consider some facts and figures published by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) relating to nursing home abuse in the United States:
- At least 1 in 10 older Americans has suffered some form of abuse
- More than 40 percent of nursing home residents have reported abuse
- More than 90 percent of nursing home residents report that they or another resident of the facility have been neglected.
- More than half of all Certified Nursing Assistants (CAN’s) in elder care facilities have admitted verbally abusing, yelling at, or using foul language with elderly residents of care facilities.
Questions to Ask When Considering a Nursing Home
The statistics relating to nursing home abuse can make the task of finding the right facility for a parent downright frightening. Doing your research and asking the right questions when interviewing potential nursing home administrators and staff can dramatically increase the odds of picking the right place for your parent. To get you started, consider adding the following questions to your list:
- What is your staff-to-patient ratio?
- If there a medical doctor on call 24/7?
- What is your procedure if a resident has an abuse or neglect complaint?
- What type of background investigation do you do on new hires?
- What is your staff turnover rate?
- Have you ever been disciplined or fined for a violation of state or federal laws or regulations?
- What social programs and/or activities are available for residents?
- Can I visit my parent anytime I want?
- Do residents have options for meals or is there a set menu for each meal?
- Do you offer transportation services?
Resources for Researching Potential Nursing Homes
You can also conduct your own research into potential nursing homes to come up with a “short list” of options. A good place to begin that research is with the Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators, the agency responsible for licensing nursing homes as well as investigating complaints filed against nursing homes in Florida. Another excellent source of information is the official Medicare.gov website where you will find the Nursing Home Compare tool, a searchable database full of information on nursing homes across the country.
Contact Coral Gables Elder Law Attorneys
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE webinar. If you have additional questions or concerns about finding the right nursing home or you have other elder issues, contact the experienced Coral Gables elder law attorneys at Stivers Law by calling (305) 456-3255 to schedule an appointment.