Nursing Home Considerations

When families have loved ones who are nearing the point in their lives when they will no longer be able to safely take care of themselves, placing them in the care of a nursing home is a good option. This will ensure that they always receive the best quality of care, whenever they need it. However, all nursing homes are not created equal. There are stories in the news all the time about nursing homes who regularly mistreat and neglect their elderly residents. Therefore, how can you ensure that your loved one is placed in a nursing home that has the highest standards in terms of patient care? You can learn valuable information about nursing homes by reading the Yosef Meystel blog. Let's take a look at some of the most important questions you should ask the management of nursing homes you are considering:

1. What are the basic rules of the facility?

Before you place your elderly loved one on a nursing home, you need to find out what is allowed and what is not. When you are thinking of what questions to ask, consider the things you would want to know if you were moving into a nursing home. Here are a few of the questions you will need to cover:

- Are residents allowed to smoke?
- What approach is taken towards the treatment of behavioral problems?
- Can residents choose their own roommates?
- When are visiting hours?
- Can pets live in the facility? If not, can they visit?
- Can residents have a TV or phone in their room?

2. What are the safety and security measures?

Along with the quality of care your loved one is going to receive, you should also be thinking about what plans are in place at the facility in the event of a fire. Are there enough sprinklers in the facility? Can residents be evacuated from the building in a fast and safe manner? How often are fire drills practiced? If your loved one requires a medical machine for their survival, you will also need to inquire about whether or not the facility has a back-up power generator.

Ask if the nursing home is able to transport residents to the hospital themselves if they require emergency treatment. If they do not provide transportation, how long does it usually take for an ambulance to get to the facility?

If you’re loved one is suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia, are their guards at the facility to prevent him or her from wandering off the grounds?

How are the belongings of the residents protected? Are safe deposit boxes available? Can they have a safe in their room? Does the facility have security guards to prevent break-ins?

3. Is the nursing home accredited and certified?

The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) certifies, accredits and inspects health care facilities in the U.S. If a nursing home has received JCAHO accreditation, this means it has complied with safety and quality control guidelines, including the managing of medication and prevention of infection.

All facilities that have been successfully accredited by the JCAHO will have a gold seal decal prominently displayed in various places. If you will be depending on Medicare to pay some or all of the bills, you should also make sure the facility is certified by Medicare.


Chris said…
Thanks for bringing attention to this. As an experienced nursing home abuse attorney, I know people need to do a great amount of investigation into the nursing home where they will put their loved ones. California has special statutes to protect patients from abusive behavior in nursing homes. Find out more here: San Diego Nursing Home Abuse Attorney