Moving your loved one into a nursing home is a big decision, and amidst an epidemic of nursing home abuse and neglect in the United States, choosing the right nursing home for your loved one is just as important.
The nursing home industry brings in huge profits every year, and still we see nursing homes attempting to cut costs by any means necessary, which commonly results in understaffed facilities, inadequate training for employees, and other problems which lead to the abuse and neglect of innocent residents. There are over 1,200 nursing homes in the state of Illinois, and in 2009 alone, nearly 100 of them (about 12%) were operating under “conditional licenses” due to complaints of abuse and neglect, which makes the choice of facility all the more important for you and your loved one.
If your loved one has recently been hospitalized for any reason, many hospitals employ social workers and similar support staff who are able to recommend appropriate facilities which fully adhere to applicable regulations; your loved one’s physician may also be able to provide suggestions. When you have a list of nursing homes, online research is nearly essential to narrow them down, and there’s good news in terms of researching: because most good nursing homes are funded and controlled by the government, information on them is entirely open for public access and continues to be gathered on a regular basis. Here are two valuable resources:
- Illinois Department of Public Health – The IDPH has a particularly-advanced and regularly-updated database of all the state’s nursing home facilities. Here, you can access a range of information on individual facilities, such as survey reports, patient-demographics, and information on owners and operators.
- Nursing Home Compare (Medicare) – All Medicare-funded nursing homes in the United States can be found by name or zip code using the “Nursing Home Compare” tool on the Medicare.gov website. The available information also includes star-ratings in particular categories for nursing homes, such as staffing levels, quality measures, and health inspections.
An in-person visit is another important part of choosing a nursing home, regardless of whether a short- or long-term stay is anticipated for your loved one. Generally, you may contact the facility’s manager or administrator to schedule a visit; pay attention to whether the manager responds to your request respectfully or disrespectfully, politely or impolitely, as this itself can be a good indicator of whether the facility is the right choice. When visiting, pay attention to whether: the facility is clean or dirty; patients seem clean and cared-for or hungry, thirsty, or exhausted; staff members seem polite and upbeat or stressed and tired; and if the facility offers amenities or recreation of any kind, as these will all be important factors in your decision.
If your loved one has been a victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight to the very end to ensure full compensation for the injuries and losses, and you won’t pay us a dime unless we win. Contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. We are a personal injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.