Deciding to move parent to a nursing home is rarely a decision that is easily made. It is often a necessary decision, however, to prevent serious injury or victimization by those who prey on vulnerable seniors. Once the decision has been made, the next step is to find the best nursing home for your parent. To help make that dauting task a little easier, the Los Angeles elder law attorneys at Schomer Law Group, APC offer some guidance to help you choose the best nursing home for your parent.
Before You Start Looking at Nursing Homes
- Get input from your parent if possible. Sit down with your parent and ask what he/she wants in a facility. Never assume you know what is important to your parent. Is privacy more important than social programs? Would a community garden or a pool be better? Does the menu play an important role or are the aesthetics more important?
- Discuss your parent’s health care needs with professionals. Schedule appointments with your loved one’s doctors and ask what is needed in terms of the level of care and any special medical needs your loved one may have.
- Make a list of priorities. Create a list of priorities so you know exactly what you are looking for in a nursing home. Geographic proximity to your home, availability of dementia care, the cost of care, and staff to patient ratio are additional examples of things you might include on your list.
- Get referrals. As the population of seniors continues to grow in the U.S., more and more people have a loved one in long-term care. Ask friends, family members, and co-workers if they have experience – good or bad — with a nursing home in the area.
Searching for Nursing Homes
When looking for nursing homes it is important to use reliable resources. A good place to begin that research is with the California Department of Public Health. They have a list of licensed and certified long-term care facilities on their website. You will also find a list of licensed nursing homes on the agency’s website. Another excellent source of information is the official Medicare.gov website where you will find the Nursing Home Compare tool, a searchable data base full of information on nursing homes across the country. You may also want to check the “eldercare locator” a service of the U.S. Administration on Aging.
Questions to Ask When Evaluating a Nursing Home
Stories and statistics about nursing home abuse can make the task of finding the right facility for a parent both more urgent and more intimidating. Taking the time to do your research and asking the right questions when interviewing potential nursing home administrators can dramatically reduce the likelihood of choosing the wrong facility. To get you started, consider adding the following questions to your list:
- What is your staff to patient ratio?
- If there a medical doctor on call 24/7?
- What is your procedure if a resident has an abuse or neglect complaint?
- What type of background investigation do you do on new hires?
- What is your staff turnover rate?
- Have you ever been disciplined or fined for a violation of state or federal laws or regulations?
- What social programs and/or activities are available for residents?
- Can I visit my parent anytime I want?
- Do residents have options for meals or is there a set menu for each meal?
- Do you offer transportation services?
Contact Los Angeles Elder Law Attorneys
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about elder law issues, contact the experienced Los Angeles elder law attorneys at Schomer Law Group APC by calling (310) 337-7696.