Enrolling your loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision to make, especially if they are used to being independent, but sometimes it becomes the best option to ensure their safety. However, nursing homes can also be places where they face dangers due to poor care or even abusive behavior by staff. Making a checklist of what a safe and effective nursing home should feature can help you identify facilities that can best protect the health and well-being of your loved one. Find out what to look for to ensure that your loved one has a smooth transition to their new life.
What Are Nursing Homes Required to Provide?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) oversees nursing homes, known as skilled nursing facilities (SNF) provide a minimum standard of accommodations to their residents that create a “safe, clean, comfortable and homelike environment.” Residents’ rooms must have a window to the outside, clean and weather appropriate bedding, and the appropriate furniture, such as a place to store their clothes.
Questions to Ask About Your SNF
There are a few questions you should ask about a SNF to determine if it’s a good fit for your loved one. The answers you get can give you insight into the quality of care your loved one can expect to receive during their stay.
It’s important to find out if the nursing home is certified by Medicare and Medicaid. You’ll also want to know what additional services they can offer in an emergency or for an added level of care and what medical devices they have on-premises. You’ll also want to know how far the facility is from your home and if visits will be easy. Also, schedule a visit to the facility to see how the residents look and if they seem happy to be there.
You will want to examine the facility itself and the condition of its amenities. Some questions to ask include:
- How clean are the shared spaces in the facility?
- What temperatures are the facility kept at?
- Do the furnishings look well-kept and up to date, or do they seem old and dated?
- Are there any odors in the facility?
- Is smoking allowed at the facility, and if so, where?
- Are exits clearly marked?
- Is every part of the facility ADA-accessible?
A poorly-appointed facility may not have the resources to care for your loved one, especially if they have special needs. However, even a well-kept facility can have hidden dangers that aren’t visible to the naked eye. That makes it vital to research multiple aspects of a facility before making a commitment.
When looking for a nursing home, it’s important to know what to expect from the staff to determine if the facility you’re choosing for your loved one is appropriate for them. Be sure to ask the following questions when evaluating potential facilities for your loved one:
- Are all staff clearly identified?
- How do the staff relate to residents?
- Does the facility have a Registered Nurse (RN), licensed doctor, and social worker on-staff and on-premises?
- Are the Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) overworked, or do they have enough time to serve each resident?
- Are residents served by the same CNAs and nursing assistants at least 4 days a week?
If a nursing home’s staff raises some questions, it’s important to find out why they seem to differ from the norm. If your loved one stayed at a facility where the staff didn’t receive adequate care from the staff, then it’s important to speak with a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer.
Quality of Life
The quality of life your loved one will enjoy at a facility is also a good barometer of the level of care they’ll receive. Find out the following about a facility before signing your loved one up for it:
- Do residents socialize with one another and have opportunities to do so?
- Is there a volunteer program at the facility?
- What kind of food do residents get to eat?
- Can residents see their own doctors?
- Are there group activities for residents?
Knowing what a quality facility offers can help you identify one that your loved one can truly thrive in. By helping them to avoid a home that can harm them, you can provide them with a better quality of life for years to come.
About the Author
Kyle Hambright is a passionate writer proudly representing Pintas Law Firm. He has focused his legal career on personal injury cases, and throughout his practice, Kyle has helped people from all walks of life. This determination transpires in his writings as well. His articles translate the complex web of legal jargon into accessible text. Readers not only gain a firm grasp on theory, but they also learn how to put it into practice.