Tips on Choosing a Nursing Home

It’s never easy for a family when a loved one must enter a nursing home. Often the family has been caring for an elderly relative in failing mental and/or physical health. Eventually a level of care is needed that the family can’t provide.

Choose a Nearby Nursing Home

Whenever possible, select a nursing home close enough for frequent visits. The family is the resident’s first line of defense. Be unpredictable. If the staff realizes that family members only visit on Sunday afternoon, it opens the possibility for a lower level of care during the week.

Is the Nursing Home Clean and Odor-Free?

A well-managed home will be clean and have no unpleasant smells. Expect cleanliness in the front lobby, but is the patient area equally clean? Foul odors indicate poor maintenance. Since nursing home residents will almost all have compromised immune systems, sanitary conditions are very important for controlling infections and other illnesses.

Check Nursing Home Ratings

  • Visit Nursing Home Compare at Medicare.gov to compare ratings for all of the Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in the U.S.
  • At health.usnews.com you will find ratings for over 15,000 nursing homes
  • The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services rates nursing homes from 1 to 5 stars at cms.gov

What is Most Important?

What factors are most important to your loved one and the family?

  • Physical therapy – does the home have a licensed physical therapist?
  • Meals – visit the dining room for a sample meal and ask what special diets can be accommodated
  • Religion – larger homes may have a chapel and hold religious services or a chaplain may visit. Smaller homes may offer little for religious residents
  • Hospice care – discuss what care will and will not be provided
  • Special Units for Dementia Patients – if this is a need, check ratings and ask about treatment programs

Even a highly-rated nursing home can have an abusive staff member, but it’s less likely. Any negative change in the patient’s condition should be a cause for concern and immediately investigated. Nursing home abuse is far more common than most people realize.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a North Carolina nursing home, contact the law firm of Teague & Glover immediately. These dedicated nursing home attorneys know what needs to be done to protect your loved one. To learn more, visit teagueandgloverlaw.com.