Making the decision to place a treasured senior or disabled loved one in a nursing home can be tough. Once the choice is made, however, it is important to select the right facility based on your family member’s wishes and his or her individual needs. In order to keep your loved one safe and happy, there are a number of important factors to keep in mind when choosing a long-term care option.
First, it is always a good idea to select a skilled nursing facility that is accessible to as many friends and relatives as possible. This will make it easier to monitor the care your family member receives. In addition, it is important to ensure the nursing home you choose is capable of successfully managing any chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease that your loved one may suffer from. Finally, any facility costs should be manageable within your family’s budget when factoring in savings, Medicare or Medicaid, and other available insurance payments.
After you have narrowed down your list of potential nursing home candidates, further research is still required. A variety of online databases allow families to view certified skilled nursing facility inspection and deficiency reports online. Facilities that are certified to accept federal Medicare and Medicaid payments are provided with a one to five star ranking based upon a number of quality measures. In general, nursing homes are classified based on the number of registered nurses on staff, the facility’s health and safety record, and a number of other key behavioral and medical factors.
Finally, you and your loved one should visit potential nursing homes in order to see if a facility is a good fit. It is important to visit each home that is being considered on more than one occasion and be sure to ask some tough questions before making a final choice. In addition, you should look out for possible safety hazards such as loose or frayed carpets and watch how nursing home staff interacts with residents. In order to protect your loved one’s health and safety, it is especially important to pay close attention to the number of direct care workers employed by a skilled nursing facility. Insufficient staffing levels are a common cause of nursing home neglect or abuse.
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act required nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to increase staff numbers to a level that is sufficient to fully meet the needs of all residents. The law required all skilled nursing facilities in Illinois to provide at least 2.5 hours per day of direct care staffing for every resident by July 1, 2010. In addition, nursing homes operating in Illinois must provide 3.8 hours of direct care staffing for each patient by January 1, 2014.
If you believe your friend or family member was a victim of abuse or neglect while residing in an Illinois nursing home, you should give the experienced attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call today at (312) 924-7575. Our hardworking Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours per day to assist you with protecting the rights of your elderly and disabled loved ones. For a free consultation with a committed advocate, please contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
Madison County Lawsuit Claims Neglect Led to Death of Alton Nursing Home Resident, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, February 27, 2013
Study Claims Nursing Home Residents in Illinois and Elsewhere Are Often Prescribed Dangerous Anti-Psychotic Medications Despite FDA Black Box Warning, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2013
How to choose a nursing home, by Kimberly Leonard, MSN Healthy Living