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Choosing the Best Nursing Home

No easy way exists to help a loved one chose a nursing home. Considering the many stories of mistreatment and chronic negligence at some of these homes, families might assume that there are no good facilities to choose from. However, even though our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers work on cases where negligence is an issue, we understand that there are still high-quality facilities that are committed to ensuring the seniors in their stead are afforded the best care possible. The secret is taking the time to find the right home.

A new KWQC article recently offered some helpful tips when going through the selection process. Each Chicago nursing home attorney at our firm appreciates the need to be thorough about nursing home choices, but we understand that many families are placed in very difficult situations when forced to make these decisions. Unfortunately, many seniors end up in a facility after a serious medical setback. There is often not enough time to thoroughly investigate all options before the individuals needs to move into the facility. However, it is helpful to keep these basic issues in mind ahead of time so that the best selection can be made.

A few of the tips:

1) Do not go too far away. Elder care advocates consistently explain that the quality of life for nursing home residents is heavily dependent on the frequency of visits. Make sure that the facility is close enough to the senior’s friends and family so that frequent visits can be made.

2) Ask questions. Do not be afraid to ask detailed questions about the care that the senior will receive. If special needs should be accommodated, be sure to ask about it. See if pets are allowed. Are any special outings planned for seniors? What daily activities are provided? Is there internet access? Exercise classes? Little details about the quality of life at the home are important.

3) Understand staffing levels. Our Illinois nursing home neglect attorneys have often explained how staffing levels are crucial to ensure proper care and attention is provided to residents. The CMS “Nursing Home Compare” website is a good starting point to access this information. The data will be presented either as a “staff to patient” ratio or total nursing care hours per patient per day. Check to see how these rates compare to other facilities. If there are not enough caregivers at a home, then the chance of negligent care leading to serious problems increases.

4) Visit the facility. Of course it is important to take the time to visit and investigate a potential home. Nothing can replace an in-person visit to check on the quality of the facilities and the general state of the other residents in the home. You should taste the food, scope out the rooms and otherwise get a real feel for what life is like there. Gut-reactions should not be taken for granted. Does the facility seem welcoming? Do the residents appear to be happy, engaged, and taken-care of? A facility that feels “off” is likely not a good fit for your loved one.

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