How to Choose the Best Nursing Home

Deciding to put a loved one in a nursing home can be a very difficult decision, but once that decision is made, the question becomes which home to choose. There are many questions going through the family’s head when it decides on which home would be the best for your loved one. The family members may ask, “What is this home’s record?” or “Does this home have enough staff?”. Questions like these can be answered, which will make finding the right home a lot easier.

One source to answer these questions and others for is medicare.gov. This website has information about different nursing homes in your area. Here you can pick the area where you want your loved one to live and compare different homes. After you open the website, go to “Resource Locator” and click on “Nursing Home Compare.” This will compare the homes based on a 1-5 star system, which measures overall rating, health inspections, nursing home staffing, and quality control measures. It will also tell you program participation (Medicare/Medicaid), number of certified beds, and type of ownership (profit/non profit).

Another way to pick the right nursing home is to ask the administrator of the home for surveys from the past few years.  These surveys come from the Illinois Department of Public Health. They make sure the facilities comply with the Federal laws set up for Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement. If the administrator refuses to let you see these surveys, chances are the home did not fare well on them. In that case, it may be a good idea to continue looking for a different nursing home.

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