The choice to move a family member into a nursing home or long-term care facility is often anxiety driven. Choosing the best home will require a full evaluation of a facility’s ability to give the constant care and supervision needed so your loved one will not be neglected, abused, or forgotten. Because of this, we often advise family members to consider taking time to research and prepare before making any nursing home decisions on behalf of their loved one.
1) Decide What Is Best
First, above all else, consider what is most important when it comes to the needs of your loved one. Will they need hospice or memory care support? Do they have special dietary restrictions or require physical therapy? What about health insurance coverage? Would they do best in a setting that has a religious connection or is close to family? If you are able to have these discussions with your family member and their treating physician before you make any formal inquiries about services, it can help narrow down the best facilities to choose from.
Once you have gathered a list of possible residences to learn more about, go out and seek information from friends, social workers, elder support organizations, and healthcare providers. In addition, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ “Nursing Home Compare” site is a great starting point to review facilities right here in Illinois.
3) Make a Call
Your next step should be to call each place on your list and ask several questions about how many people live there, what type of duties staff have, any improvements they have made over the last year, and what are costs and Medicare and Medicaid certifications. If you feel comfortable with the feedback given, request to make plans to meet with the administrator and the nursing director. Before that visit happens, ask to see the current inspection report and certification of the nursing home prior.
4) Visit (and Visit Again)
When you arrive to the home, take note of everything from strong odors (good or bad) to interactions between staff and residents. Notice the lighting and locks on doors and windows. Ask to see all community rooms, kitchen areas, bathrooms, and the types of rooms available for new residents. Request a sampling of food served even. Never be afraid to ask questions and repeat them if you don’t feel you received a good enough answer.
Even if you have a great feeling, make an unscheduled second visit during a time of day different than your first visit. This way you can meet other staff members and see different activities.
Nursing Home Attorneys Who Want to Help
At Levin & Perconti, we know there are many high-quality facilities committed to ensuring the seniors in their care are afforded the best attention possible but that doesn’t stop our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers from working on cases where negligence is an issue. If you feel your loved one is in a situation where their care is causing them harm or discomfort, we want to help. Please contact us for a free consultation with one of our skilled nursing home attorneys.