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Resources for Choosing a Nursing Home in Illinois

Our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys hear from many families who are looking for information on long-term care options for their loved ones. The decision to put a family member or other loved one into a long-term nursing care facility is always a difficult one. However, for many families, the time comes when a loved one’s care needs require more time or attention than a family can reasonably give. When this time comes, it is important to research potential facilities in order to help reduce the risk that your loved one will fall victim to abuse or negligence.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Nursing Home Compare website compares every nursing home in the country that is eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Scores attained on five separate quality measures are used to rank care facilities, including health inspection results, nursing home staff data, quality measures, and fire safety inspection results, all of which are pivotal in determining the quality of safety and care afforded to residents.

Once you arrive at the Medicare website, select ‘Facilities and Doctors’ from the list on the left-hand side of the page. You will then be given a choice of a number of sub-categories: select ‘Compare Nursing Homes.’ The website allows you to search for nursing care facilities by area, as well as directly compare nursing homes to one another, in order to find the right fit. This information is also available by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Because this is a relatively new system, amendments are being made all the time. In fact, later this month the Nursing Home Compare website will undergo a significant change: Section 6103 of the Affordable Care act will require the website to display information for each facility regarding the number of substantiated claims and complaints made against the home, and the number of disciplinary actions taken against the home.

Our Illinois nursing home injury lawyers believe that information on the Nursing Home Compare database is most helpful when used in conjunction with other sources. The Illinois Department of Public Health Nursing Homes in Illinois website has invaluable information about selecting an appropriate nursing home, including a listing of every nursing home in the state. In addition to general information, such as the number of beds and Medicare certification, the website also houses information on state surveys and violations
When choosing a facility that is best suited to meet your loved one’s needs, nothing can take the place of your instinct and intuition; make sure to visit a number of your nursing home choices, speak to your doctor or other trusted health-care provider, and do your research before making your final decision. You may also contact an Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsmen for information on local facilities. Putting a loved one in a long-term care facility can be a difficult decision, but with the right tools and information, the decision can feel a lot easier.