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Choosing a quality nursing home that is likely to be safer than most

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Conservatorships |

Choosing a quality nursing home for an older loved one is a consequential process that requires thoughtful consideration. If you’re facing this consequential task, you want a facility that has a record of safety and that provides high-quality care. When evaluating nursing homes, it’s crucial to look beyond the surface to determine which ones are likely to be safer and better managed.

A good way to start is by checking the ratings and evaluations provided by state and federal agencies. For example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers a five-star rating system that assesses important aspects of nursing home care, including health inspections, staffing levels and quality of clinical care. Facilities with higher ratings generally meet or exceed standard regulatory requirements, which can be a strong indicator of a safer environment.

Once you’ve narrowed your options

Visiting any prospective nursing home multiple times at different times of the day, including unannounced visits, can provide insights into the daily operations and the care environment. Observe how staff interact with residents, the cleanliness and maintenance of the facility and whether residents seem content and well cared for.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that a well-qualified and sufficient number of staff is crucial for providing safe and attentive care. Inquire about the staff-to-resident ratio and the qualifications of the healthcare professionals and caregivers. Facilities with higher ratios of nursing staff to residents generally provide better and safer care.

You’ll additionally want to focus on the fact that quality nursing homes prioritize personalized care plans that cater to the individual needs of each resident. Check if the facility assesses residents’ needs comprehensively and plans care accordingly. Facilities that involve family members in care planning and are responsive to feedback are often more committed to providing quality care.

Choosing a nursing home is an involved process. Yet, investing significant effort now can help to ensure that your loved one is cared for properly moving forward.