disclosure: The following is a guest post from Len Haberman, Esq. I worked in long term care for many, many years and wanted to share what I found to be helpful to all of you who may have parents or grandparents preparing to enter a nursing home. This is a big decision so any tips are helpful in making it I believe.
There are an increasing number of us who will be expected to need the services of a nursing home in our later years, as the average life-expectancy rate continues to rise and there are more of us than ever before heading into old age.
The basic numbers and projections make for some alarming reading in a lot of respects, with an estimated 2.7 million people expected to need a nursing home by 2040 and just 16,000 facilities located throughout the United States.
It is clear to see that for a number of us, choices might be either limited or potentially non-existent. Planning ahead for your needs is absolutely essential if you want to be able to secure a good nursing home and avoid the need for you or your family to seek redress for bad treatment through a firm like http://panursinghomelawyers.com.
You need to research your options a good time before you actually need to use the services of a nursing home, unless of course circumstances such as a sudden illness make that option more difficult.
Many of us now have access to online resources and a good starting point may be to check the Federal agency backed database Medicare, and click to view the link to compare nursing homes in your area.
The listing will give the chance to search nursing homes in your location and also allows you the opportunity to view the individual rating for each nursing home, which ranges from one to five stars.
Beyond the rating
It is not just about viewing the star ratings. It helps to look at all aspects of their facilities and services and see how they fared with health inspection results, fire safety ratings and also an area that often presents the most challenges and problems, which is special focus facilities.
The special focus facilities each nursing home offers and how they have fared in providing these services is particularly important if you have a condition that needs specific knowledge or attention in order to be managed successfully.
You should also take a look and how each nursing home performs when it comes to pain management, the incidence of pressure sores and the extent of their use of physical restraints. The feedback on these dimensions of nursing care can sometimes give you a valuable insight into how well you can expect to be treated and cared for under their care.
Evaluating the information
You should bear in mind when reading information collated for a site like Medicare, that some of the data is self-reported by the nursing homes themselves and as the inspections would have been carried out by state regulators, standards of reporting can vary.
You should use the information as a guide but actually use your own eyes and ears to get a real feel for each nursing home, by visiting them yourself and trying to speak to existing residents or relatives of loved-ones who already have experienced the level of care they are claiming to offer.
Never be afraid to ask key questions that are important to you, such as how many licensed nurses are on duty during each shift and what their visiting policy is.
With so many of us likely to need nursing care in the future, it makes sense to do some groundwork now in order to possibly secure a place at your first choice of nursing home when you need it.
Len Haberman, Esq,. has represented many victims of nursing home neglect over the years. A devoted member of the Philadelphia community, he likes to share his insights by writing. Look for his illuminating articles on a variety of legal, law and senior living websites.