Nursing home neglect is, sadly, very common across the United States. When it comes time to do research on nursing homes for your loved one, a lot is at stake. Particularly since the way that the US regulates nursing home care, overall, is very disorganized.
This means that it is up to you to do all of the due diligence on any nursing home institution. According to the AARP, the best tips are to take advantage of online resources for research, and visit any contending nursing homes in person.
Making the most of online
It used to be that, if you wished to do research on nursing homes, you would have to visit the state regulatory office and sift through stacks of paper. However, now there are comprehensive online resources. The Medicare website is a good place to start, since you can compare different nursing homes in your area. It also offers a “star” rating.
If you are in a hurry, it is a good idea to use the Medicare star rating. However, keep in mind that the star rating does not necessarily paint the full picture: you must also visit in person to be sure.
Visiting in person
Make sure to be aware of your surroundings at a nursing home visit. Look at the cleanliness of the residents: how are their hair, fingers, clothing and teeth? Stay for a meal so you can sample the quality of the food. It is also good to keep an eye on response times: how long does it take staff to dispense medication, or attend to a call light?
Attention to detail and good research can make the difference between a positive nursing home experience and neglect.