Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing A Nursing Home

If your parent or elderly relative can no longer care for himself or herself, you must take action. But placing a parent in a nursing home or assisted living facility can be a challenging task. If circumstances permit, you may have time to conduct a search and perform due diligence on several facilities. But after a medical crisis, that may not be possible.

Konicek & Dillon, P.C., is a law firm dedicated to ensuring that nursing home residents are treated with care, compassion and dignity. To help you make sound decisions about the care of your loved one, we present the following information in FAQ format. You may have questions of your own, particularly if your loved one is already in a care facility and has been a victim of abuse or neglect.

It is important when admitting a loved to a nursing home or assisted living facility to be careful in reviewing and signing admission papers, contracts, agreements and notices. DO NOT agree to predispute arbitration or a waiver of any rights you or your loved one have.

What You Should Ask The Discharge Specialist Or Social Worker

If your loved one is about to be released from the hospital and can no longer care for himself or herself, the hospital may assign a discharge specialist or social worker to your case. This professional may recommend a nursing home or assisted living facility or provide a list of facilities. You should ask these questions:

What percentage of people placed in a particular facility are sent back to the hospital? — This can provide clues as to the quality of care provided by the facility.

Does the discharge specialist or social worker receive a commission for placement in the facility? — Such commissions can act as an incentive for the worker to recommend a facility that is not appropriate for your loved one.

What specific services does the facility provide that make it a good choice? — For example, these could include the provision of care for particular disabilities, provision of recreational activities, or transportation to a church or synagogue.

What is the Medicare star rating of the facility? — The federal government has a Five-Star Quality Rating System for nursing homes and a website that compares nursing homes based on that system. This can be a useful tool, but keep in mind that nursing homes design their services to score high on the rating system.

Should I visit every nursing home on the list provided to me? — This may not be necessary. Make a list of the key attributes you are looking for and call the nursing homes to see which ones offer what you are looking for. This will narrow the list so you can focus on those facilities that are appropriate for your loved one.

Is the facility close to family and friends? — This is very important. If family members and friends can visit your loved one frequently, the chances that he or she will receive better care will increase considerably. You will be able to monitor the care your loved one receives, identify medical problems, and spot signs of abuse and neglect. And your loved one's spirits will be higher, too.

Additional information about choosing a nursing home can be found on the how to select a nursing home page created by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Contact An Attorney

For a free initial consultation with a lawyer about a nursing home abuse or neglect case, contact Konicek & Dillon, P.C. We have offices in Geneva and Chicago to serve you.

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