Placing an elderly loved one into an assisted living facility or nursing home is not an easy ordeal. Unfortunately, the transition has the potential to bring up distressing emotions for everyone involved. One way to find comfort with the shift is by focusing on finding the nursing home that is the right fit. When you are confident in the care that your loved one will receive, the process will undoubtedly move more smoothly. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to find a home you and your family feel comfortable with.
Researching Reliable Ratings Reports
All nursing homes have easily accessible online ratings gathered and published by U.S. News & World Report. According to a search on the site by location, there are 22 nursing homes in the Colorado Springs metropolitan area, five of which have five-star ratings from the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The ratings consider factors like nurse staffing, fire safety, quality measures, health inspections and overall experience at the community. Each factor is awarded a rating out of five stars with a detailed breakdown of reasons why the score was assigned, as well as a comparison of its score to the state and national averages. The comprehensiveness of these reports make them valuable resources for your search.
Reading the Ratings and Making Comparisons
Because the reports include plenty of information about the care provided at the home, you can quickly gain insight into the differences between each facility.
The nurse staffing category lists the average amount of time nurses and physical therapists spend with each resident each day. Fire safety ratings show whether or not the home complied with National Fire Protection Agency standards, while the quality measures category details the percentages of residents who got the necessary care at the appropriate time for a range of medical issues. Health inspection ratings indicate how well the nursing home has met standards for health-related activities such as food prep.
Being Aware of Red Flags
Incidents of elderly abuse are a tragic reality. To prevent your loved one from receiving inadequate care, take precautions. When you visit a home, talk to the families of patients or patients themselves to ensure that they are satisfied with their experiences. Ask the nursing home for references that you can get in touch with over the phone. You will receive valuable insight from direct sources that you are unable to find online.
During your tour, do not be afraid to ask the nursing home administrators serious questions, such as what the turnover rate of the staff is or the nurse-to-patient ratio. You can also ask how the home conducts their hiring process, and whether or not they perform state or national background checks.
If you do suspect abuse from the facility you choose, hire a nursing home abuse lawyer who understands and will help protect your loved one’s rights.
Focusing on Specific Services
Consider the unique services your loved one requires or yearns for. Is it important that the nursing home is located close to a hospital or has a partnership with a hospital? Does your loved one need particular types of care, like dementia services or physical therapy? Would he or she have access to unique services like a therapy dog or massage therapy?
Making Sure Your Loved One Feels at Home
The most important requirement of your search is that your loved one feels at home wherever he or she moves. A good way to test the waters is by taking a tour so that you both get a general feel for the community, environment and services. Your loved one might enjoy activities and programs offered by certain facilities like music, holiday events and poetry readings. Maybe scenic views and fine dining would make the transition manageable enough to justify higher costs. Decide what features matter most to your loved one, and seek out the ideal match.
If you find yourself in a situation where you think your loved one could benefit from legal representation, reach out to us today as your nursing home abuse lawyer. We will work together to ensure your loved one’s happiness and safety!