The vast amount of information on the Internet can make it difficult to determine if a particular nursing home is a safe and healthy place for your family member or loved one. Nursing homes often put information or advertisements on their websites that they are a caring and comforting place for residents. However, when pulling back the curtain and investigating further, you can often reveal that certain nursing homes are neither safe nor healthy.
Medicare.gov, a fantastic website for basic information, allows you to search for historical data and current rating information regarding local nursing homes. The website includes overall ratings, health inspection results, staffing measurements and quality measures. By researching specific facilities, you can determine current inspections that have taken place and any deficiencies that were found during those inspections. Being armed with this information when visiting a nursing home allows you to weigh the credibility and honesty of the staff as you ask specific questions.
Ohio residents also have local resources for comparison shopping of nursing homes. The Ohio Department of Aging, has specific nursing home information pages for families and individuals looking for nursing home placement. There are links to other resources including paths that lead back to Medicare as well as general information pages of the Administration on Aging. All these resources can be sorted for answers to your specific questions, including the cost of resident care and how to apply for payment through Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Perhaps most important, this information can be trusted. Very often the ratings or reviews that appear on nursing home websites are put there by the facilities themselves.
The State of Ohio also has a long term care quality initiative with specific information for consumers. Several consumer guides provide tremendous information that helps individuals and families make placement decisions.
In the end, it is critically important to be an informed consumer before choosing a long term care facility for a loved one. Very often, this is the residence that an individual will have through the end of their life.
As you make these decisions, you should always feel free to consult experienced lawyers with knowledge of nursing home liabilities and elder care to assist with placement decisions. Plevin & Gallucci can offer advice and answer any questions you may have regarding concerns about nursing home or long term care liabilities and placement of loved ones.